As the first railway of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Etihad Rail comprises a network of 1,200 kilometers that will stretch across all seven emirates. One of the largest single railway projects to be implemented in the world, it forms the UAE component of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rail network connecting the UAE to Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain. The railway is expected to transport 50 million tones of freight and 16 million passengers over the next two decades.

Since early 2011, AECOM has been providing full program management services for the project, including design management and construction supervision. In addition, we are developing and implementing quality assurance measures and managing interfaces between various contracts and stakeholders. This monumental project involved extensive environmental considerations and careful planning to ensure that the railway does not create a barrier and negatively impact local communities and ecological habitats.

We successfully overcame technical challenges to deliver fast track results in one of the most environmentally challenging climates, where summer temperatures regularly exceed 50 degrees Celsius. Although our team was faced with grueling challenges, we were able to achieve numerous outstanding safety achievements including 17 million man hours without Lost Time Incidents (LTI). We worked hard to encourage a safety culture by recognizing and celebrating safety milestones and achievements at both the project level and an individual level. Upon completion, the network will play a central role in the development of the UAE’s industrial infrastructure and future growth.

The project won the 2016 GCC MEED Quality Award for Rail Project of the Year.