Muscat: Oman is expected to invest $20 billion in its transport sector, especially for developing infrastructure projects, in the next 15 years, according to a recently published report.
Research agency Ventures Onsite, which released a report on the sidelines of the Gulf Traffic Exhibition Conference awards, said that the Sultanate plans to invest $50 billion in diversification plans, out of which nearly half of the country’s spending over the next 15 years will be in transport infrastructure.
According to the report, the transport sector remains a lucrative sector, with ongoing projects, such as the expansion of ports, roads and the proposed GCC-wide rail infrastructure.
As many as 49 road projects are planned, worth $5.43 billion, in addition to roundabouts, flyovers and tunnels, while seven projects for construction of junctions, worth $19.4 million, will be under construction by February 2016.
Ten projects to be ready
The report mentions 10 projects to be completed in 2016 which will ease traffic on Omani roads, including the BidBid-Sur Road, a portion of the Al Batinah Expressway, Nizwa to Ibri (second stage), Mahda to Al Rawda in Buraimi, Sinaw to Mahoot to Duqm, the Al Rustaq mountainous road, the Dhank road to Al Khabib, Samad Al Shan to Wadi Indam, Qutbait to Marsud road and Camel Race road in Adam, Al Dakhiliyah. Also, several interior roads and tunnels will be built in Al Mudhabi and Al Batinah.
It also noted that Mwasalat, Oman’s national transport company that carries 9,000 passengers per day, plans new routes to Muttrah and Amerat, while a strategy for the next seven years includes plans to develop dedicated lanes and AC stops.
In 2016, contractor awards for work on Omani roads, bridges and tunnel projects were worth of $493 million, and the study predicts more than a 100 per cent increase in construction will be valued at$1.16 billion by 2017.
It also details how 132 projects related to transport infrastructure, valued at $11.90 billion, were ongoing as of September 2016. Out of this, 56 per cent of these projects were in the construction stage, six per cent in the design phase, 13.2 per cent in the planning phase and 16.5 per cent had tenders floated, while only eight per cent were are on hold.
According to the report, despite dwindling oil prices in the GCC, Expo 2020 in Dubai and Fifa World Cup 2022 in Qatar are driving the GCC’s transport sector construction, with an estimated spending of approximately $280 billion over the next four years by GCC governments.