Duqm potential next great Arab world city, says CNN

Oman Monday 04/June/2018 22:14 PM
By: Times News Service
Duqm potential next great Arab world city, says CNN

Washington: Duqm in the Governorate of Al Wusta can become the Arab world’s next great city in the future, said CNN News Network of USA.
The network said in a report that was published today that the Sultanate hopes that Duqm, 330 miles south of Muscat on the eastern coast, can help diversify its economy.
“The town is really growing a lot ... especially in the last year,” says Vijay Handa, cluster general manager of the City Hotel Duqm, one of three new hotel chains catering to an influx of businesspeople.
“In the next four or five years, it’s going to see even more people coming, with more building and more opportunity,” he adds.
The network added that Duqm is earmarked as the site of a vast new container port, refinery and industrial zone that, it is hoped, will help move the country away from dependence on oil revenues.
A new international airport, tourist resort, fishing harbor and residential zone for a potential 111,000 people are also key components of the Duqm masterplan, which was initiated in 2011.
Population statistics for the town are hard to come by. But the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI) reports that the population of the sparsely populated the Wilayat of Duqm, which includes the town, doubled from around 6,000 in 2011, to just under 12,000 in 2017.
According to Stephen Thomas, CEO of Omani facilities management firm Renaissance Services, which recently opened a $197 million housing facility in the town capable of accommodating 16,900 workers, Duqm will become a “great city.”
“Already, you can see the momentum coming,” he says. “You can see the blueprint for this city”. South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering has been operating a dry dock, where ships and tankers can be repaired in Duqm since 2012. In a nearby area earmarked to become an industrial zone, Chinese consortium Oman Wanfang aims to invest $10.7 billion to develop a series of projects, including a power plant and SUV manufacturing plant. Ground was also broken on an oil refinery jointly financed by Oman and Kuwait in April this year.
A spokesperson for the Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZAD) told CNN that 230 companies had invested in Duqm since 2012 with thousands of new jobs created.
The US network also pointed out that Duqm is marketing itself as a convenient location for major shipping routes that link growing economies in India, East Africa and beyond.
Planners also see Duqm as an alternative entry and exit point for the region.