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