Duqm Can Become Arab World Next Great City, CNN News Network Says

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 Center 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.

Source: Oman News Agency