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

Batinah Expressway.

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

economic area.

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