OmanPride: Duqm, Oman’s city of the future
October 18, 2017 | 6:32 PM
by Gautam Vishwanathan
Oman has committed plenty of time, dedication, and resources into transforming Duqm.

#Readersresponse: With Oman looking to boost its economic output and diversity it sources through the Tanfeedh initiative, the Sultanate’s government has earmarked one location as the epicentre that will drive the country forward. It isn’t Muscat, but Duqm – a town located halfway between the capital and the southern bastion of Salalah, in Al Wusta Governorate. With Oman having committed plenty of time, dedication and resources into transforming Duqm and catalysing change across the nation, residents in the country are excited to see what the future holds.

“Well, the Duqm location is a very attractive location for investors, especially if the port is capable of handling all types of cargo vessels,” said Muhammad Khan. “My suggestion would be to build an LNG and an oil terminal. Excellent housing facilities are required, and it is the same with schools, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, road infrastructure, airport, entertainment activities, and sports complex. All these requirements will boost Duqm’s presence to the entire world.”

Muhammad Idrees added, “Yes, we are hoping Duqm will become a big city. We shouldn’t only rely on Muscat. We need all the international standard facilities, just like we have in Muscat, so it will be very easy for a huge population we will have in the future.”

Duqm’s easy and accessible presence on the Arabian Sea was what attracted many to praise Oman’s future metropolis.

“Duqm’s location is very attractive for investors, especially when it comes to handling all types of vessels,” opined SM Monir. “I would suggest a plan to deal with all project vessels, then improve the roads, and possibly plan for a train service. Hospitals, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, airports, a sports complex and whatever is required will surely be built to make Duqm one of the best cities in Oman.”

Syed Rehman was also quick to add his opinion. “Basically, all the ships arriving from the east will touch the Gulf of Oman first, and then move towards either the UAE or onto Yemen and Africa. So far, the country has not focused on making a facility that would ease the shipping companies’ burdens, but Duqm will not just do that, it’ll also boost the country’s growth.”

Key to Duqm is also an industrial park, into which Omani and foreign investors have committed about OMR3.85 billion, and representatives of the Special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm (SEZAD), are also looking forward to the foundations of this city taking root in the future.

“Given that this will be a manufacturing centre, I believe it will fit in very well with the government of Oman’s Tanfeedh plans as well,” said Jalal Al Lawati, SEZAD’s promotion manager. “About 60 per cent of Oman’s population is young, and everyone is looking for jobs these days, so I believe this will add plenty of jobs to the economy, which can be filled by the next generation of job seekers. We envision this joint venture to generate about 12,000 more jobs in Oman.

“We have already begun construction of the park, which will measure a total of 1,172 hectares,” added Al Lawati. “About 40 per cent of this park will be completed by 2020, and it will have manufacturing centres for heavy, medium and light industries, as well as commercial property, residences and a tourism zone.”

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