The American “Bloomberg” agency revealed vigorous efforts by the Sultanate of Oman to make a qualitative leap in the port of Sohar outside the Strait of Hormuz, with the aim of competing with the busiest shipping stations, located in the Jebel Ali port of the United Arab Emirates.
In this context, the agency reported that Sohar Port and its free zone had signed an agreement with the Muscat-based Hormuz Marine Company, to start providing refueling services, as of mid-September, according to a statement announced by the operator of the facility.
The report pointed out that the intensification of options to provide ships with fuel and services, while in transit, or unloading, will enhance Sohar’s efforts to acquire the business dominated by Jebel Ali Port in Dubai.
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It is noteworthy that the port of Sohar, located outside the Strait of Hormuz, is a vital area, at the mouth of the Arabian Gulf.
About a fifth of global crude suppliers pass through the strait, an area that has turned into a hot spot for tankers over the past years, while the UAE port of Jebel Ali is located inside the strait.
Sohar port is expanding, according to Bloomberg, to serve as a container, food and chemical hub for the Arabian Peninsula.
There are plans for Hormuz Marine to provide low-sulfur fuel oil and marine laurel oil to ships in the port, and the project is a partnership between the Sultanate and the Dutch waters of Rotterdam.
For his part, the CEO of the port operator said that plans are underway to store oil and products, after completing the necessary expansions.
The US agency also pointed out that Oman can pump up to one million barrels of crude per day, and it is an ally of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries “OPEC” and other producers, which are not in the group to limit production.
The location of the Sultanate of Oman
The Sultanate is distinguished by its strategic location overlooking open seas and its proximity to international shipping lines. The government is focused on making the main Omani ports pivotal export centers in the region.
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Over the past years, it has signed agreements with international companies to manage and operate the main ports in order to benefit from its global experience in attracting international shipping lines and attracting export-oriented investments to the Sultanate.
Through its commercial and industrial ports and seaports, the Sultanate seeks to be among the top ten countries in logistical performance at the international level by 2040. The transport and communications sector will become the second source of national income.
Port of Salalah and Sohar
Through the implementation of successive five-year plans, the Sultanate’s government was able to develop a series of ports, whether commercial, industrial, touristic or fish, and began reaping the fruits of its investments in this sector, especially in the port of Salalah and Sohar. Job opportunities and increased the port sector’s contribution to the Sultanate’s national product.
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In order to develop and enhance the competitiveness of the ports sector in the region, the Ministry of Transport and Communications plays a tangible role regarding the marketing programs of ports and industrial zones, as the Ministry coordinates with port management and operation companies and the competent authorities regarding the international marketing programs for the ports it supervises.
Also, each port prepares an annual marketing plan to attract foreign investments.
Ports of the Sultanate of Oman
Omani ports are characterized by specifications comparable to international ports, as they are able to receive the largest ships in the world, as they are characterized by berths with a depth of some 25 meters. Sufficient storage space, container terminals and modern cargo handling equipment.
The government has prepared the infrastructure for Omani ports and has been equipped with modern equipment in order to be ready for the import and export process and the speed of clearance of goods.
Saudi delegation in the Sultanate of Oman
In another context, a Saudi delegation visiting the Sultanate of Oman discussed, on Monday, revitalizing the land trade movement between the two countries, in an effort to strengthen economic relations, as well as establishing a trade bloc between the two countries.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the Joint Business Council held its second meeting today in Muscat, with the aim of achieving development in mutual investments between the two countries.
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The agency quoted Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih as saying that they discussed enabling communication between the private sector in the two countries, and concerned government agencies in all sectors, to develop and protect mutual investments.
He said that the discussions discussed finding solutions to the challenges facing investors, and exploring viable investment opportunities on a continuous and sustainable basis. And removing any obstacles that might limit the growth of intra-regional trade between the Kingdom and the Sultanate of Oman.
The road linking Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman
The two countries are currently establishing a land border crossing between them, as the meeting put forward proposals to activate trade exchange, through the land route, to achieve the integration of supply and trade chains, Hajj and Umrah, tourism and others.
The two sides also agreed to strengthen partnerships and investments between the two sides, and raise the volume of trade exchange, “especially since the Saudi side is looking for large investments in the Sultanate,” according to Al-Falih.
joint industrial zone
He added, “Our investments are related to the industrial, petrochemical, chemical manufacturing, fish farming, mining, food and animal feed sectors.”
The Saudi side gave a presentation on the project of the Saudi Omani Holding Company to become a commercial conglomerate, aiming to manage and implement various future commercial relations between the two countries.
Last June, Saudi Arabia discussed establishing an industrial zone in the Sultanate of Oman that would manage all its sectors, coinciding with the Kingdom’s efforts to expand the share of the non-oil economy in the gross domestic product.
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