Muscat: Intending to explore cooperation opportunities in scientific research, innovation and technical and vocational training in the industrial cities, Dr Rahma bint Ibrahim Al Mahrouqiyah, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, visited Sohar Industrial City, which falls under the umbrella of the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates – Madayn.
Al Mahrouqiyah was accompanied by Dr Muna bint Salim Al Jardaniyah, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation for Vocational Training, Dr Bakhait bin Ahmed Al Mahri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation for Higher Education, Dr Saif bin Abdullah Al Haddabi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation for Research and Innovation, and Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, CEO of Madayn.
During the meeting, Eng. Abdullah bin Salim Al Kaabi, Director General of Sohar Industrial City, elaborated on the key development indicators and current projects in the industrial city, stating that, “During 2019, the volume of investments in Sohar Industrial City amounted to OMR2,165,632,684 with an estimated growth rate of 1.16 per cent compared to 2018. Sohar Industrial City had the highest increase in the total volume of investments during 2019 compared to other industrial cities of Madayn, as the total investments during 2019 increased by OMR24 million. This increase in the total investments of Sohar Industrial City is owed to the investments of companies that were introduced in the industrial city during 2019.”
The number of workforce in Sohar Industrial City during the same year exceeded 17,000 with an Omanisation rate of 36 per cent. “By the end of 2019, the number of projects touched 416 in Sohar Industrial City, of which 285 are existing projects, 72 are under construction, and 59 projects were allotted with space. It should be noted that the total area of Sohar Industrial City during the same period reached 29,883,548 sqm, of which 21,157,520 sqm have already been developed,” Al Kaabi pointed out.
The visit included a tour at phase 7 of Sohar Industrial City, which is being implemented by Madayn on an area of 8.5 million sqm. The project includes road works, water and sewage networks, sewage treatment plant, rain drainage channels, water tanks in addition to safety and security requirements. The Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation also visited Sohar Aluminium Company, which was formed in September 2004 to undertake a landmark greenfield aluminium smelter project in Oman.
Moreover, the minister visited Omani Euro Food Industries Company, which was established in 1997 at Sohar Industrial City. The company is manufacturing HACCP & ISO 22000-2005 certified baby food and health food, which include baby cereals, biscuits, rusks, among other products. The company is implementing all food quality and safety requirements in addition to hygiene and public health procedures to match the highest international quality standards.