In a strategic move to diversify its economic reliance away from hydrocarbons, the Sultanate of Oman has invested in major infrastructure projects which will also give a boost to other growth sectors such as tourism, real estate and logistics. The country's 8th Five-Year Development Plan for 2011-2015 has allocated $ 78 billion to fund various infrastructure projects, including a number for social and transport purposes.
The government has facilitated investments worth $ 50 billion in the country from both the public and private sectors out of which $ 20 billion will be spent on the transportation infrastructure . Major transport works include the Oman National Railway project, the expansion of Muscat and Salalah International Airports, the development of airports at Sohar, Ras Al Hadd, Duqm and Adam, and building of numerous road networks, expressways, bridges and tunnels to be built over the next five years.
Knowing well that Oman’s transport sector relies heavily on its extensive road network, the government has spent $ 8 billion on the construction of 12,704 km of road across the country . The $ 2.6 billion Batinah Expressway is among the most important road project in the country.
Oman has invested $ 10 billion for the building of national railways with an aim to connect to the upcoming GCC Rail Network.
In order to give a major makeover to its existing airports and open up new ones, the government of Oman has allocated $ 4.29 billion for various airport projects in the country .
A contract worth $ 108.5 million has already been awarded to expand two main airports – the Muscat and the Salalah International Airports.
While development at Muscat airport will cost $ 1.8 billion, the Salalah airport project requires an investment of 1.5 billion.
Vast Opportunities for Key Players
Funding for the development of infrastructural facilities in Oman will require the able support of dedicated service providers to achieve projected timelines.
Drake & Scull International PJSC (DSI), a regional market leader in integrated design, engineering and construction disciplines of General Contracting, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP), Water and Power, Rail and Oil and Gas, is poised to become a key player in the development of transport infrastructure in Oman. Khaldoun Tabari, CEO of Drake & Scull International PJSC (DSI), said: “With a rapidly progressing economy predicted to post an annual growth rate of 5.1 per cent between 2014 and 2023, Oman is a vital market for our expansion plans in the GCC.”
Oman, with its vast landmass, diverse geography, strategic location, and huge local population ably supported by a stable government, has immense potential to successfully diversify from its oil-based economy.
The government’s decision to develop the country’s transport infrastructure will directly boost tourism and real estate as well as provide prime opportunities for the logistics sector.
With reliable players such as DSI, Oman will continue to march ahead towards rapid and sustained economic growth.