The UAE-Oman rail network is poised to usher in a new era of economic growth and connectivity for Oman, while also positioning the GCC region as a global logistics hub. Oman has long sought to establish itself as a key link between the East and the West, given its location in the Arabian Peninsula and its access to deep-sea ports overlooking the Indian Ocean outside the choke point of the Hormuz Strait. According to Mahmood Al Wahaibi, Managing Partner at Oman Think Urban and Infrastructure Lead at the Oman National Spatial Strategy project, the country’s location makes it an ideal stopover between the West and the East.
After the Oman-Etihad Rail Company and Mubadala signed a $3 billion deal last month, the first phase of the rail network is expected to begin. Last year, Etihad Rail partnered with Oman Rail to create the Oman-Etihad Rail Company, which will build a 303km rail line between Sohar and Abu Dhabi. Oman’s 2040 strategy, launched in 2014, aims to establish the country as a logistics center, with the sector creating approximately 300,000 jobs.
In Oman, the rail network is expected to generate new investment and economic opportunities, as well as promote greater collaboration with GCC countries. Oman has been steadily moving toward closer cooperation with its GCC neighbors, as evidenced by its efforts to improve the transportation network connecting them. The country’s focus on economic diversification has led it to prioritize the development of transport infrastructure, including rail, which will improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the transportation of goods and people within the country and throughout the GCC region.
The UAE-Oman rail network is part of a broader regional initiative to develop a rail network that connects the GCC countries, thus making the region a global logistics hub. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are currently undertaking significant infrastructure projects, including roads, airports, and seaports, to enhance the region’s connectivity and make it more attractive to investors. The completion of the GCC rail network is expected to strengthen the region’s economic competitiveness and reduce transportation costs by up to 30%.
The rail network is expected to attract investment and trade, which will create employment opportunities and boost the region’s economic growth. According to experts, the network will make it easier to transport goods from Oman to other countries and vice versa, resulting in lower shipping costs, faster delivery times, and increased efficiency. Additionally, the network will improve Oman’s connectivity to the rest of the GCC region, opening up new trade opportunities and boosting the country’s export potential.
The development of the UAE-Oman rail network is a major step forward in the GCC’s plan to create a world-class logistics hub. As Oman moves forward with its infrastructure development plans, it is poised to become a key player in the GCC’s quest for economic diversification and regional integration. The rail network will provide a solid foundation for the region’s transportation infrastructure and facilitate the movement of people and goods between the GCC countries, making the region a more attractive destination for investors and businesses.