#ReadersResponse: As Oman continues to expand its excellent set of roadways across the Sultanate, residents and citizens are gearing up to check out the latest expressway that stretches across the Sultanate’s exotic landscape.
The Batinah Expressway is scheduled to open shortly, and is expected to drastically reduce the travel time to Dubai and Sharjah. The road, which begins near Rustaq and ends near Oman’s northern border check-post of Khatmat Malaha on the outskirts of the town of Shinas, will also cut travel time to the Sultanate’s northern exclave of Musandam.
Nabil Sadruddin, an expat living in Oman, said, “It is so good to hear the government is extending Muscat’s roads to Dubai and Liwa. We can drive fast on this road without traffic signals, but the only issue we might face is of fuel. There are no fuel stations on the Muscat and Batinah Expressways. The government should plan to install some petrol stations.”
Cathy D. Angkay, who is of South East Asian origin, said, “I often have to travel across Oman for work and this will help reduce the time to places such as Liwa. The signs on the road are also very clear and easy to follow.”
Vinesh Mandalia said, “I have driven on packages 1 and 2 and it was a wonderful drive. I like Batinah Expressway the most. Wider roads and extra lanes make for a comfortable drive, and there is a feature of glowing lights on the road while driving at night.”
“This is such a nice road,” added Lisa Tommy, while Sikander Mohammed added, “I am glad this road has opened as it will be easier to reach parts of Oman. I am also keen to know if there are plans to open a Sur Expressway.”
Cynthia Richard, an American, added: “I cannot wait to visit this part of Oman. Thanks to the new road, I am sure it will be easier to go to the Batinah region now.”
Too much traffic
Drivers said that travelling to UAE or to Sohar Port will be easy after the road is completed from Muscat. “Right now, there is too much traffic during rush hours,” said P. Kumar, who regularly drives to Sohar from Muscat.
Mohammed, who drives to Shinas from Muscat every week, said, “Things get worse when there are too many heavy vehicles on the road. Then sometimes the journey takes four hours instead of the usual three, which is really frustrating,” he said,
Al Batinah Expressway has been divided into six packages with a total length of 265km, stretching from Halban to Khatmat Milaha in the wilayat of Shinas. The road has four lanes in each direction with four-metre islands in between. The road is one of the strategic projects implemented by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Package 1 starts from Al Filaij roundabout in the wilayat of Barka and ends in the wilayat of Al Rustaq. Package 2 is from Rustaq to Suwaiq, a total length of 42km.
The 46-km-long package 3 stretches from Suwaiq to Saham. Package 4 starts at Saham and stretches to the wilayat of Sohar, a distance of 50km.Package 5 starts at the wilayat of Sohar and ends 41km away in the wilayat of Liwa. The 45km package 6 starts from the wilayat of Liwa and ends at Khatmat Milaha.