Muscat: The Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (Sezad) welcomed on February 12, 2020 a delegation of 38 participants at the 7th National Defence batch.
The delegation was headed by Major General Salim bin Musallam bin Ali Qatan, Commandant of the National Defense College (NDC). The visit came as part of the college’s annual programme aimed at familiarising participants with the different strategic projects being developed in the Sultanate, including projects at the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZD).
During the visit, the delegation was briefed on the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm, Port of Duqm, Drydock and Emdad Logistics Company. The delegation was also toured around several projects in the Zone.
In his welcoming note, Dr Ismail bin Ahmed Al Balushi, CEO of the Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (Sezad), said that Sezad has endeavoured since its establishment in late 2011 to embody the wise vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said directing towards attracting local and foreign investments to Duqm. Al Balushi commended Sezad’s efforts in this regard so far as the investments of government companies and private corporates in the zone reached about $ 14 billion, according to the usufruct contracts signed till the end of last year.
He added that such investments are a testament of the various advantages of the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZD) along with the incentives and facilities provided by Sezad to increase local and foreign investments. This also reflects the Sultanate’s security, stability and stimulating business environment offered for investors.
“The Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZD) stands as among the key achievements of the Blessed Renaissance, started by the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, May Allah rest his soul in peace. As per His Majesty’s Royal Directives, SEZD is marked one of the investment destinations and a cornerstone of the economic diversification plans in the Sultanate,” Al Balushi affirmed.
Besides, he touched on the competitive characteristics of Duqm that qualify it to be a major trade destination between the East and West. Besides, it is positioned as an integrated industrial complex on international shipping lines, thanks to its geographical location on the Arabian Sea overlooking the Indian Ocean and close to the consumer markets in Asia and Africa.
Therefore Sezad is working closely in cooperation with its partners in the Zone, especially the Port of Duqm, to attract local and international companies and renowned shipping lines to mark Duqm the main station for its containers targeting countries in the Middle East as well as the African and Asian markets, the CEO of Sezad explained.
The Special Economic Zone at Duqm is distinguished with its diversity of projects and spacious area of (2,000) square kilometres, which allowed it to attract various businesses in different economic sectors. The Zone is home for projects specialised in light, medium and heavy industries, petrochemical, fisheries, tourism, commercial, health, education, logistics, and real estate development. In this regard, Al Balushi commented that Sezad aims through this diversification to make Duqm an integrated hub of services; a place for living and work, where people of different cultures and backgrounds come together to achieve the objectives of building the Zone and boost its contribution to the national economy.
To name key projects in the Zone, Al Balushi highlighted the currently existing projects stating, “The Port of Duqm is one of the most prominent components of the Zone, which is a multi-purpose port, comprising a commercial berth that brings two container terminals, a station for dry bulk materials, and a multi-use station. The Port also includes a dedicated berth to serve government bodies and another berth for oil industries purposes capable of handling petroleum products for the Duqm Refinery and petrochemical companies, which will be coming up shortly.
He pointed out that there are several other major projects supporting investment in the Zone such as Duqm Airport, Drydockfor ship repair, Duqm Refinery, Fishing Port, and the oil storage station in Ras Markaz. Other components include a variety of hotel accommodation options, and an integrated road network connecting different investment sectors at Duqm.
Commenting on the infrastructure at Duqm, Al Balush stressed that the infrastructure developed by the government, the investment environment, the geographical location of the Zone, and the incentives provided by Sezad for investors highly contributed to attracting many local and international private sector projects to invest in Duqm. Among these projects are Sebasic Acid, which is extracted from castor oil, Sino-Omani Industrial City, Little India Project, the Omani-Qatari investments (Karwa Project), and many other industrial, commercial, tourism, logistics and real estate development projects.
Besides, the current academic year also witnessed the inauguration of A’Soud Global School at Duqm, the first international school at Duqm. The Special Economic Zone at Duqm also brings different options of medical services including Kims Medical Complex and other clinics and pharmacies providing these services to families and residents of Duqm.