The United Arab Emirates has awarded an Italian-led consortium a $900 million contract to build the first stage of the Gulf nation's railway network.
State-run railway company Etihad Rail says Italy's Saipem and Tecnimont will join Dubai-based Dodsal Engineering and Construction in building the first part of the network.
The deal covers the construction of tracks and other infrastructure to link the western UAE cities of Habshan and Ruwais by 2013, and additional extensions for the following year.
The first part of the line is designed for freight transport. Etihad Rail plans to eventually spend nearly $11 billion to provide freight and passenger services throughout the country.
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