Muscat, Eng. Sultan bin Hamdoon al-Harthy, Advisor of the Secretariat General of the Supreme Council for Planning (SCP), Deputy Director of the Project Steering Committee (PSC) of Oman National Spatial Strategy (ONSS) confirmed in an interview with Oman News Agency (ONA) after the national spatial priorities workshop, which was held on 22 and 23 April that the ONSS represents the framework for all the development activities in the country in accordance with the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and this strategy is fully aligned with other national strategies. He added that after completion, this strategy will guide the urban development in the country and will organise the future land use.

Eng. al-Harthy also explained that the strategy will enable the decision makers to locate future cities being residential, industrial, logistics, commercial, touristic or multiuse based on world best practices. The strategy will enable developers, investors and businessmen to make informed decisions. It will also enable the youth to make informed decisions on where they want to live in their governorates as the strategy will aim to have a balanced development and help creating job opportunities across various parts of the Sultanate.

As for the consultation in the project, he explained that the society is the cornerstone of planning and that His Majesty the Sultan has directed to do so in the various stages of the project. As such, the consultants working on the project have held and are planning to hold a number of workshops in the various governorates of the Sultanate to inform both the national and regional strategies.

Eng. al-Harthy added that the governorates have a pivotal role in the project and that they represent the first source of information that reflects the opportunities and the challenges in each of them and how to complement one another. He also added that we look forward to the day that the governorates will be able to manage some of the development activities after the necessary capability and the relevant laws/governance are put in place.

Decentralization is not a simple decision. It requires legal and governance support, as well as the enhancement of processes and the development of specialised and skilled human resources to ensure an administrative environment that will be properly prepared for the governorate’s new role in planning.

Dr. Hilal al-Qamshoey, Director of Strategy Project, thanked the governmental agencies associated with spatial planning and the offices of the governors and Walis for their input to this project; for example, through workshops and regular meetings to discuss the key planning issues in all governorates and wilayats of the Sultanate.

He also pointed out that the strategy will help providing employment opportunities, a strengthened labour market and greater investment opportunities for each of the governorates based on their respective resources and competitive advantages.

Dr. al-Qamshoey added that the project focuses on the development of human resources and the achievement of national capacities, which will be able to manage the enhanced planning systems that will be among the major outcomes of the strategy. He affirmed that national human resources from different specializations are joining hands in developing the strategy working closely together as one team.

Source: Oman News Agency