The first contracts for the 1500km-long Emirates Railway are expected to be awarded by the end of the year, according to its developer, the state-owned Union Railways.
Union Railways chief executive officer Richard Bowker said contractors would be invited to register their interest in the next two months.
“We expect to invite expressions of interest in the next two months and suppliers will also be able to register through our website,” said Bower.
“The first phase will comprise the Shah-Habshan connection, which will first connect Ruwais to Habshan and finish in the first half of 2013. This will be immediately followed by the connection from Habshan to Shah, which will finish by 2014. We are already starting to look at the next phases. The whole project will take around seven to eight years,” he added.
Bowker added that the preliminary surveys for the railway are underway and 80% complete.
The railway will extend from Abu Dhabi’s Western region through Dubai, Sharjah, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman.