First part of rail planned from Dhofar to Duqm

The first section of Oman’s railway will be constructed from Shuwaymiyah in Dhofar to Duqm, said head of the logistics section of Tanfeedh. Sulaiman al Shaqsi, who is also head of logistics at PDO, said it had been chosen due to the mineral resources that could be exported through Duqm port.

“This is because of the minerals in the area of Shuwaymiyah and the like. So that’s very much on the pipeline and going very well,” he said of the railway project at the Downstream Oman conference on Wednesday.

He was speaking about the 15 logistics projects which have been set aside by Tanfeedh. Shaqsi also confirmed that Oman’s road to Saudi Arabia is complete and authorities are waiting for the last two per cent of Saudi Arabia’s side to be constructed.

He also said other roads would have to be constructed to connect with ports in Sohar and Duqm. This includes an Ibri bypass to replace the current road from Ibri to Sohar. Shaqsi said the logistics team is also working on developing an eCommerce system related to the Bayan system currently used by ROP Customs.

“That would actually make the clearing of materials from ports easier, faster,” he said. He said ports in Oman still have to be developed to better accommodate larger ships. “We are looking at expanding the ports, providing more services to large vessels. We do not have the potential of having those vessels coming into Oman. There is a big opportunity that is missing at the moment,” he said.

He said more could be done to increase the amount of agriculture and fish that Oman exports. “We have an issue on exporting those products,” he said. He also noted the work being done with air cargo capacities, including the establishment of a cargo village. “We see a lot of opportunities and therefore we need to capitalise on them,” Shaqsi added.