The contract, signed by Etihad Rail chairman Sheikh Dhiyab Bin Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, covers the construction of the 139km Ghuweifat - Ruwais line, which will connect the current 264km network with the Saudi Arabian border at Ghuweifat.

The contract is the first of four civil works contracts for Phase 2, with tenders for the remaining contracts due to be submitted in the coming months.

Phase 2 comprises a 605km double-track network extending the current network from Ghuweifat in the west to the port of Fujairah on the east, and will form part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) network.

Phase 1 was built to transport sulphur granules from Shah and Habshan to the export point in Ruwais. Eventually a 1200km rail network is envisaged in the United Arab Emirates.

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