Muscat, ASYAD Group subsidiary Marafi signed
a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Khazaen Economic City
to develop and operate dry-port facilities in Khazaen. Khazaen
Economic City and Marafi will work together to develop the project.
Khazaen Economic City, envisioned as an international logistics
hub, is spread over a total area of 51 million sqm in the Governorate of
South Al Batinah and will have a dry-port along with logistics,
industrial, commercial and residential zones.
The proposed city will be developed in several phases to become
an integrated city. Marafi is a member of ASYAD’s group of companies,
established to manage and operate maritime services and handling of
vessels at ports and terminals in Oman and internationally.
By means of signing the MoU, both parties have agreed to use
their best efforts to obtain all the necessary approvals and permits and
complete the due diligence required to sign the definitive agreements
before the end of 2018.
To fulfill the objective of the MoU, Marafi will set up an SPV with
key local logistics partners from the private sector to develop and
operate the Sultanate’s first dry-port. The dry-port facilities will be a key
demand driver and enabler for the Khazaen development.
The fully integrated Khazaen Economic City will be the first of its
kind to be set up near Muscat. Khazaen will lead the Sultanate’s plans
to evolve into a logistics-centric economy. It will accomplish this by
creating a city thoroughly designed with world class infrastructure that
caters to the development of logistics-linked activities and kindle
investment indirectly. Served by major transportation infrastructure,
such as the Al Batinah Expressway, Oman Rail, and Muscat
International Airport, Khazaen is the ideal logistics, warehousing, light
industrial and commercial hub linking the main modes of transportation
in and out of the Sultanate. The Khazaen dry-port is central to the
north Omani coast within the most densely populated part of the
Sultanate and with the best road connectivity to Sohar Port, airports
and logistics providers. Synergies are also expected with A’Suwaiq Port
as it gradually develops in the future.
Abdulrahman bin Salim al-Hatmi, ASYAD Group’s CEO stated,
Signing of this MoU is extremely significant. Dry-ports efficiently
promote economic and social development in the surrounding areas by
generating employment and income. Khazaen will support the
significant potential for Oman’s logistics sector. The dry-port at
Khazaen will speed the flow of cargo between ships and major land
transportation networks, and improve the movement of imports and
exports, by moving the time-consuming sorting and processing of
containers, away from congested seaports. It comes in line with the
Sultanate of Oman Logistics Strategy ‘SOLS’ 2040.
Tareq al-Mugheiri, Board Member of Khazaen Economic City,
said, The signing of this MoU will help Oman in branding itself as a
logistics hub in the near future. The dry-port will position Khazaen
Economic City as a central hub for logistics to provide integrated
services related to the supply chain.
Faisal al-Balushi, General Manager of the Commercial and
Business Development at Khazaen Economic City said The dry-port
will enable Khazaen to provide urban freight consolidation from a
central distribution point to service the city of Muscat, with easy
connectivity to Muscat Airport and Sohar Port via the Muscat and Al
Dr. Ahmed al-Abri, CEO of Marafi, said, This is an exciting time
to be part of the realisation of such a significant project in Oman’s
economic growth. We are looking forward to bringing our expertise to
this development. This involvement of private sector partners will
strengthen the port’s capabilities, outreach, services and scope of
supply. The dry-port is essential for Khazaen development and growth.
Its activities are key to drive businesses to settle and grow within the
Fortified with customs bonded services, ample capacity, and
connectivity with the Muscat-Batinah Expressway and eventually the
GCC rail, the dry-port will be ideally positioned to serve the needs of
shippers and logistics service providers.
Source: Oman News Agency