UAE gives green light to $1.3bn Etihad Rail loan

Rail company is building $11bn cross-country network to link UAE emirates
(Getty Images - for illustrative purposes only)
By Reuters
Sun 22 Jan 2012 05:54 PM

The United Arab Emirates' cabinet has approved plans for
Etihad Rail, the developer of a railway network in the country, to borrow AED4.7bn
($1.28bn) to finance part of the construction, Dubai's ruler said on Sunday.

"We also approved during the meeting for Etihad Rail to
borrow AED4.7bn to finance their new line to Al Ruwais," Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who is also UAE vice-president, posted on his official
Twitter feed.

No other details were provided.

The rail network, which will cover 1,200 kilometres across
the UAE and is projected to cost around $11bn, is being built in three stages.
The line to Ruwais is part of the first phase.

In October, a contract worth 3.3-billion dirhams was awarded
to an Italian-UAE joint venture, consisting of Italy's Saipem, Tecnimont and
UAE-based Dodsal Engineering & Construction PTE Ltd, to design, procure and
construct the first stage's infrastructure.

The first stage of the rail network will link the western
region cities of Habshan and Ruwais by 2013 and join Shah and Habshan by 2014.

Phase two of the project will connect Abu Dhabi to Jebel Ali
in Dubai while the third phase will connect the northern emirates.

Contracts for the second stage are earmarked to
be awarded in the third-quarter of 2012, its chief executive said in November

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