General information

The United Arab Emirates often abbreviated as UAE or shortened to The Emirates is a country situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Iran.

Termed emirates because they are ruled by emirs, they are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. The capital is Abu Dhabi, which is also the countrys center of political, industrial, and cultural activities.

The U.A.E. was formed from the group of tribally organized Arabian Peninsula sheikhdoms along the southern coast of the Persian Gulf and the northwestern coast of the Gulf of Oman.

Its long and relatively languid association with the currents and movements of the Arab Peninsula aside, the UAE’s history as such is brief. It was a set of seven sheikhdoms under a British protectorate between the 19th century and 1972, when Britain withdrew. The UAE was formed as an independent, federal nation in 1971, and the Abu Dhabi Petroleum Co., whose emirate controls about 80 percent of the country’s oil, was nationalized in 1975.


In 2010, the UAEs population was estimated at 4,975,593, of which less than 20% were UAE nationals or Emiratis, while the majority of the populations were expatriates.

 23% of the populations are non-Emirati Arabs and Iranians and the majority of the population, about 50%, is from India. There is also a growing presence of Europeans especially in multi-cultural cities such as Dubai those from other parts of Asia (including the Philippines, Iran or Sri Lanka) comprised up to 1 million people. The rest of the populations were from other Arab states.

The most populated city is Dubai, with approximately 1.7 million people. Other major cities include Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain, Sharjah, and Fujairah. About 88% of the population of the United Arab Emirates is urban. The remaining inhabitants live in tiny towns scattered throughout the country or in the many desert oilfield camps in the nation.

The average life expectancy is 75 years, higher than any other Arab country.

Railways of UAE

National Transport Authority (NTA)

The NTA is the Competent National Authority that has the overall responsibility for UAE Rail Regulations, National Rail Standards and Independent Safety Assessor role.


Safe and Integrated Transportation for Sustainable Growth.


To contribute to the development of safe, integrated and distinguished Land and Maritime transportation system that enhances the country’s logistical position and compete economically and cognitively to achieve the highest levels of quality and international standards in transportation services through providing sustainable infrastructure and adopting the necessary legislations.

U.A.E plans to construct a 1,500-km long, high-speed passenger and cargo railway network linking all seven emirates at a cost of about Dh40 billion.

The purpose of the project is to connect Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah to Ghewaifat through Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The project will be phased over several years. In the end, the railway will connect the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat city in the West and Oman via Al Ain in the East.

Phase I will connect the Shah Gas field with oil and gas facilities at Habshan and will have a capacity to transport 10,000 t/d of granulated sulphur.

Phase II is expected to include construction of a commuter trainand is tendered in six stages. Stage 1 extends from Mussafah to Taweelah; Stage 2 from Taweelah to Jebel Ali; Stage 3 from Mussafah to Ruwais; and Stage 4 from Ruwais to Ghewaifat.

Stages 5 and 6 will be part of Phase II, with Stage 5 extending from Jebel Ali to Port Saqr in Ras Al Khaimah and the latter from the Ghayl junction through Fujairah to Khorfakkan on the east coast.

The project links major centers of residential and industrial development in the UAE within the integrated public transport plan through cooperation with relevant governmental departments, in order to enhance the cooperation between different means of transport.

The rail network is expected to boost investment in the fields of shipping and logistics.

Construction will run until 2026, which includes freight, passenger trains and a metro





H.E. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan

Ministry of Public Works

Minister for Public Works and Chairman of the National Transport Authority

H.E. Abdullah Rashid Al Otaiba

Department of Transport

Chairman of the Department of Transport

H.E. Matar Mohammad Al Tayer

Roads and Transport Authority

Chairman and CEO of Roads and Transport Authority

H.E. Abdullah Salman Al Ameri

Maintenance of Utilities and General Services, Director General

Sharjah Ruler’s Office

H.E. Ibrahim Abdullah Al Wahabi

Ministry of Public Works

Executive Manager of Public Affairs

H.E. Jassim Rashed Al Shamsi

Ministry of Finance and Industry

Executive Manager of Finance Affairs Department

H.E. Saif Salem Al Shamsi

Ajman Municipality

Deputy General Manager

H.E. Dr. Nasser Saif Al Mansoori

National Transport Authority

General Manager

Board Members



Other projects:

-          The first phase of the 800km passenger and cargo network will start operating in 2013 and is expected to ease traffic congestion and reduce the number of trucks on the roads. A high speed rail line to connect Abu Dhabi with the rest of the UAE

-          implementation of the first phase of railway network - the 270 km Shah Habshan Ruwais section

-          Establishment of a network in Abu Dhabi and Dubai (Stage 1), and a network in the Northern Emirates (Stage 2).



 The network would ultimately be connected to the planned 1,000km long GCC railway network whose construction is scheduled to start in 2010.




Map of Dubais planned train system

·                    Dubai - Construction work on the red and green lines of the Dubai Metro network has already started with the new addition of the blue and purple lines. There are also 3 yellow lines to serve the sand islands, and a coastal black line representing the tram system. The first phase of the project (red and green lines) is now operating. They are all standard gauge. Construction of the Dubai Metro began in March 2006; it opened for the public on 9 September 2009.

·                    Abu Dhabi - a 340km tram network is planned.

There are no rail links with neighboring countries.


  Contact Information:

Eng. Bassam Mansour | Expert- Trains & Railway Systems
United Arab Emirate Government
National Transport Authority
P.O.Box 900
Abu Dhabi
Direct Line| + 971 (0) 24182 326 or + 971 (0)2 4499790 Mobile| +971 (0)50 2447 996  Fax | +971 (0) 2 4492844

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