Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s National Rail Network, has joined forces with Italian luxury hospitality company Arsenale to introduce an exquisite train experience that celebrates Emirati culture and heritage. The luxurious locomotive will comprise 15 carriages, offering passengers a scenic journey through iconic destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Fujairah, and extending towards Oman.
Passengers aboard the luxury train will immerse themselves in the rich Emirati culture while traversing captivating landscapes. The route will take them through Mezeira’a, along the breathtaking Liwa Desert with its renowned oasis.
Future plans include extending the journey to other destinations in the GCC once the GCC Railway becomes operational.
Arsenale’s involvement in this project follows their recent announcement of “The Dream of the Desert” luxury train project in Saudi Arabia.
The agreement between Etihad Rail and Arsenale was signed during the Middle East Rail Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi, where Etihad Rail also inked seven additional agreements to advance its freight and passenger services.
The collaboration with Arsenale highlights Etihad Rail’s commitment to driving economic and social growth in the UAE through the National Rail Network.
Shadi Malak, CEO of Etihad Rail, expressed the significance of the luxury train experience, stating, “By introducing this world-class offering, we contribute to boosting the UAE’s tourism sector and showcase the country’s diverse heritage and beauty to visitors from around the world.”
The train itself will be fully customized, consisting of 15 opulent carriages. It will traverse the vibrant cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, as well as the nature-centric destinations of Fujairah, with its majestic mountains near the Omani border, and the awe-inspiring Liwa desert with its famous oasis near Mezeira’a train station.
Arsenale emphasized that the carriages will undergo complete refurbishment in specialized factories located in Puglia and Sicily, Italy. The production, craftsmanship, interior design, and quality of onboard services will all bear the hallmark of Italian excellence.
Paolo Barletta, CEO of Arsenale SpA, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “We are thrilled to collaborate with Etihad Rail on a unique project that promotes the discovery of a magical and exciting territory outside the renowned destinations of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The railway cruise is the present and future of tourism, and Arsenale aims to make it available in the most beautiful places in the world, introducing this new fascinating and sustainable way of traveling.”
In addition to the collaboration with Arsenale, Etihad Rail secured several other agreements during the Middle East Rail event. These included a joint venture with DHL Global Forwarding, partnerships with logistics provider MICCO, Morocco’s national railway operator ONCF, global technology company Uber, drone cargo specialist SkyGo, and an agreement with the Fujairah Natural Resources Corporation (FNRC).
With the inauguration of the National Rail Network in February, which connects all emirates and key ports across the UAE, Etihad Rail continues to transform transportation and connectivity within the region.