July 12 - With the start of construction of the UAE railway Etihad Rail drawing near, senior executives from the railway visited Antwerp, Belgium where they met and shared ideas with key players in the world of transport.

The Etihad Rail-led delegation included senior executives from Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) and global port operator DP World (pictured below).

Q4 of 2012 will see Etihad Rail commence construction on the first phase of the 1,200 km UAE railway network - a 266 km route in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. The network is due to begin carrying its first shipment of freight in 2013.

Project cargo forwarders will look for opportunities not only arising from the construction of the 1,200 km network but also the route's six tunnels and around 300 structures such as road crossings, bridges and culverts.

The network will also form a vital part of the planned GCC railway - linking to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and to Oman via Al Ain in the east, itself a likely bonanza for project cargo operators in the region.