The Sultanate of Oman has been constantly stretching its muscles to establish itself as the new emerging powerhouse in the GCC area. Several new policies, economic diversification, infrastructural investments, new geo-political tie-ups, and empowerment of the local workforce have made Oman a real contender to be the next economic giant in the Middle East. The Sultanate is leaving no stone unturned to make sure their target of economic diversification takes wings. One of the major contributors for pushing Oman’s economic dreams is the new container terminal at Duqm Port and Special Economic Zone and it’s going to help shipping companies in Oman.
The port’s prime location, political stability, a plethora of natural resources, great topography, and amazing scenery makes it an ideal choice for business and tourism. Spread over an area of 2000 sq km, Duqm Port has shown immense promise in becoming a hotspot to fulfill Oman’s economic diversification dream in the coming years. It is one of the largest ports in the MENA region and is being envisioned as an energy hub and industrial and commercial hotspot. A multi-modal transport system, world-class commercial seaport, and a humungous ship repair yard can provide easy movement of logistics connecting Duqm regionally, nationally as well as globally.
Not just that, its area also boasts of scenic landscapes and long-stretched beaches. It has rich geo-parks and birdlife making it a favorite with adventure sports lovers and nature travelers. It has the potential to become a global tourism hub and attract millions of tourists every year, further pushing the economic freedom of Oman.
Duqm Port and SEZ – the center of economic and business renewal
The port and SEZ are being developed as centers that can propel the country’s economic diversification by investing in different industries and infrastructural development. The logistics industry has always been one of the mainstays of the region the port’s rapid development has also ensured that the supporting sectors also get a boost. There are several other factors that have contributed to the rise and reign of Duqm Port.
A business-friendly environment
The government has been making all the right efforts to create a business-friendly environment at Duqm SEZ. The regulatory policies have been structured to attract, retain, and grow the firms that are interested in investing in this area. A wide range of support services has been developed that are tailor-made for the investor’s ease of doing business. Information centers have been set up so that there is no delay in planning and implementing business schemes.
Offering valuable incentives and schemes
When setting up a business and Duqm SEZ, there are a number of incentives and benefits designed for businesses to make their investment a profitable proposition.
- Up to 100 percent ownership for foreign investors
- No restriction on currency
- 30 percent exemption on tax from the date of commencement of business
- Exemption on minimum capital requirement
- Repatriation of capital and profits without any cost
The strategic geographical position gives global access
One of the biggest advantages that Duqm SEZ enjoys is its geographical positioning that allows easy access to businesses operating from the port. Its position puts Duqm within strategic distance from some of the fastest-growing global markets in the Middle East, South Asia, GCC, East Africa, and even beyond that. This geographical location makes it the most promising business hub in the region. It lies outside the Straits of Hormuz within the proximity of international shipping lanes that serve East-West, Upper Arabian Gulf, and East Africa trade routes. This is why a large number of international giants are looking to invest in Duqm Port looking to leverage its position and connectivity through land, air, and sea.
While its connectivity through the sea is a primary reason for its growing status as the business hub, other factors too make a positive impact. Regionally, Duqm is well-connected by road via Muscat-Hayma-Salalah (Route 31) and Muscat-Sinaw-Mahout (Route 32). Not just that, the road network connects Duqm to several major cities in Oman and GCC region. The road network is built of international standards that allow quick and easy movement of cargo. The air connectivity has also been upgraded to ensure better transportation. A newly built airport within the SEZ provides daily flights from Muscat. The airport is also capable of handling international flights and jumbo freighters.
The Duqm Port and Special Economic Zone project is certainly one of the most ambitious projects that the Oman government has undertaken and it is all set to make Duqm the hotspot for business and tourism activities. With plans to provide easy investment and a pro-business environment to both global and local players, Duqm will revive the economic status of the country. Coupled with its strategic position, the port will provide efficient connectivity to a number of international markets opening the doors of world-scale business here and will encourage ocean freight forwarding. The booming opportunities are sure to re-align the port and its success is almost certain.