Muscat – Duqm is on right track to emerge one of the greatest Arab cities and among the top five cities for the future.
Lee Chee Khian, CEO, Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZAD), said this in his reaction to a report by CNN.
Speaking to the Observer, he said, “I cannot on a particular report, but Duqm is on the right track to emerge as one of the top five cities for the future.
He added that the city will be identified as a hub
for manufacturing petrochemicals, fisheries, ably supported by the logistics sector.
“Naturally with an increase in the number of visitors and the residential population, other sectors like education, business tourism and retail will also get a boost,” he said.
According to CNN.com, “The town of Duqm was once a sleepy outpost on Oman’s central eastern seaboard. Located roughly 530km south of Muscat, it has been home to fishermen and their families for generations.”
It added, “But things are changing fast. The town is really growing a lot especially in the last year and In the next four or five years, it’s going to see even more people coming, with more building and more opportunity,” the CNN quoted Vijay Handa, cluster general manager of City Hotel Duqm, one of three new hotel chains catering to businesspeople.
Hand told the Observer, “Duqm is the key focus city for the Sultanate and the target was just right. It is growing rapidly and steadily with infrastructure in place, the new airport ready to open anytime. Duqm will bring healthy growth to the economy. It’s only a question of some more time now.”
The CNN reported said, “Duqm is earmarked as the site of a new container port, refinery, industrial zone, new airport, tourist resort, fishing harbor and residential zone for a potential 111,000 people as per the master plan Oman sees its natural geography as a key advantage to its plans in Duqm, as well.
The town is marketing itself as a convenient location for major shipping routes that link growing economies in India, East Africa and beyond.”
The Observer had reported earlier that the city seems to be getting some boost in terms of numbers over the last few years.
More apartment buildings and shops have come up in the city, roads have been marked with names and signals have been installed at traffic intersections with proper signboards.
According to an official of a leading hotel in Duqm, his property consistently witnessed 50 per cent occupancy in 2017.
“At our property, the occupancy level has been 50 per cent for some time and there has been an increase in the number of new visitors or guests as new projects have started coming up in the country.”
The Renaissance Accommodation Village is hoping over 50 per cent occupancy next year with development works on the Duqm Refinery, Duqm Port, Raz Makaz storage projects expected to bring short-term and long-term visitors..
SEZAD too is keen to promote projects that are environment friendly, like encouraging permanent accommodation facilities than allowing porta cabins and camps all over the place, which require regular monitoring from the authorities.