Recently, the UAE and Oman signed a historic MoU that will link Oman’s Sohar Port to the UAE’s National Rail Network. Why this deal is significant because it has set the ball rolling for Oman’s Vision 2040 which envisions positioning the Sultanate as an economic power and a logistics hub in the global scheme of things. For the last decade or more, Oman has made a tremendous amount of investment in developing its non-oil-based sectors to diversify its economy and reduce its over-dependence on oil. While this has amounted to the setting up of several national schemes to support the developmental work while paving the way for the development of its ports that are strategically positioned to deliver world-class logistics support. This is a great opportunity for the logistics companies in Oman and shipping companies in Oman who can now make an incremental difference to the country’s economy and its long-term plan called Vision 2040.
In all these herculean plans that the country is implementing, Sohar Port has emerged as the focal point of Oman’s effort of establishing itself as a global logistics hub. The kind of money that the Oman government has invested in the development of this port has started yielding fruits as Sohar is now emerging as a force to reckon with in the GCC region. Its linking with the UAE’s national rail network is an example of Sohar Port will connect the islands to the rest of the world.
Oman’s Sohar Port – An example of modern technology and world-class infrastructure
Oman’s Sohar Port is bustling with new MoUs being signed, new deals taking place, and several expansion plans that will make it one of the busiest and most high-tech ports in the world very soon. Some of the biggest global organizations have invested billions of dollars in the recent past and extended the Sultanate’s efforts of making it a global logistics hub. One of the main reasons behind this unprecedented growth and development of Sohar Port is its strategic location. The port’s geographical location helps it connects the developing and business-friendly Asian markets with Oman and then the rest of the GCC region. The internal infrastructure developmental work that Oman has taken up is further fueling the port’s connectivity and the ability to doing trade more feasible.
And now it is en-route to becoming a port that will have the capability of handling the biggest fleets in the world. This deep water port’s technological advancement, installment of high-grade machines, AI-based software-enabled operational infrastructure, and more have shown promising operational efficiency for the port. This is being completely supported by the Oman government to ensure that all the development yields the right results. The state-of-the-art road network, a thriving free zone, a newly developed airport, wide market access, and newly envisioned rail connectivity have made Sohar the country’s fastest-growing port.
What is incredible about the Sohar story is that it is not just making enviable headways locally and within the GCC region but also making headlines globally. Its geographic location amounts to easy connectivity between all major Gulf economies and the Indian subcontinent, one of Oman’s major economic and political partners. This is considered more fruitful as it significantly reduces the operational cost of passing through the Strait of Hormuz. Logistics companies and shipping companies operating in the region can easily target markets in India, the Middle East, South East Asia, and China while also having easy access to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Muscat, Al Ain, and even Saudi Arabia.
Oman’s Logistics Strategy 2040 – Sohar’s future in the reckoning
Emerging as one of the fastest-growing and developing ports, Sohar handled almost 62% of total imports in 2017. Not just that, almost 42% of all exports were done from Sohar in the same year contributing almost $3.4bn to the economy (as much as 4.8% of Oman’s GDP). And since then, the growth story has only seen an upward shift growing in numbers and operational capacity every year. Some of the major business sectors that Sohar handles are logistics, petrochemicals, automotive, metals, and food clusters that also help materials like iron, plastics, steel, rubber, ceramics, and chemicals. Sohar has been and continues to remain at the center of Oman’s economic diversification efforts and to make it happen, Oman has been investing in different ways at Sohar. The government recently invested $ 5 billion in the steel industry in addition to the industry of aluminum. New factories are being set up in the region to further fuel the growth.
This apart there are several downstream industries that are being supported by the Oman government to boost Sohar’s position as a leading contributor to its economic diversification efforts. All these efforts are making a huge impact on how Oman positions itself as a leading logistics contributor in the global marketplace. And Sohar Port is the one that is fueling Oman’s ambitious plans, becoming a primary example for the world to see how dedicated efforts can make a such huge difference.