Etihad Rail has been granted clearance from the Abu Dhabi Environment Authority to lay tracks on a 49-kilometre stretch of railway that will pass through the Bainunah nature reserve.
The authority and Etihad Rail agreed on specific environmental conditions, mainly that the clearing of vegetation in the area where the tracks will be laid is kept to a minimum, with the least possible disturbance.
Environmental authorisations for the Etihad Rail project have taken four years to be issued.
During this time, a number of meetings and workshops have taken place and a number of joint surveys were conducted to develop the necessary measures to limit the project's environmental side effects, especially in the Bainunah forest reserve.
In the Environment Authority's recent annual report, it mentioned the importance of the railway as it would form part of a network that connects the UAE with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.