Soon, Underwater Travel Between Mumbai and UAE Might be Possible

The 1,826 km network will not only cater to passengers, it will also look at transporting oil and other goods.

2 min read
The UAE-India Subsea Train Network

A UAE-based company, the National Advisor Bureau Limited (NABL), has conceptualised a ‘floating underwater network’ that will run between Mumbai and Fujairah in the UAE.

The 1,826 km rail network will not only cater to passengers, it will also look at transporting oil and other goods via the network, NABL Managing Director Abdullah Alshehhi told The Quint. At a speed of over 1,000 km/hr, the journey between Mumbai and Fujairah will be covered in a little over two hours, he said.



According to the concept, the underwater floating network will consist of two curved concrete tubes that will be submerged below the surface of the Arabian Sea. Alshehhi said the tubes would be stabilised by either being attached to pontoons on the surface of the water or vertical tethers to the sea floor.

Pontoons are hollow metal cylinders that are used to support floating bridges and landing stages.

“There would be enough gaps between the pontoons to allow ships to pass through. The tubes would be placed underwater, deep enough to avoid water traffic and weather.”
Alshehhi told The Quint

However, Alshehhi had pointed out earlier that although the concept could develop into a “cool project,” a feasibility study was yet to be done.

The UAE-India Subsea Train Network, as envisioned by the NABL. 
The UAE-India Subsea Train Network, as envisioned by the NABL. 
(Photo Courtesy: Abdulla Alshehhi/NABL)


NABL said there could be several benefits of the underwater floating network:

  • The network will be able to transport tourists, workers and other passengers between India and the Gulf nations.
  • It will facilitate transport of oil from the Gulf to India
  • Excess water from the Narmada river, which is prone to flooding, can be transported to the Gulf via the water pipeline.
  • A separate cargo line will transport goods between the two destinations.

“The future plan includes making a provision for a road to be constructed within the floating tunnel for cars and truck transportation ; as well as a Floating Hotel and a shopping centre, and fuel stations in the middle of the Arabian Sea, where commuters can rest and shop,” Alshehhi said.

He added that the next stations on the network could include the Karachi port in Pakistan, and Muscat in Oman.


Speaking at the India-UAE conference earlier last week, Alshehhi had said that the project, if developed, would increase trade and boost bilateral ties between the Gulf nation and India.

"The project aims to boost bilateral trade. There will be export of oil to India from Fujairah port and the import of excess water from Narmada River, north of Mumbai. In addition, other GCC partners can also improve exports and imports,” he had said.

Alshehhi is also the chief consultant and founder of NABL, considered to be the “breeding ground for start-ups,” according to the Khaleej Times.

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