Oman named regional hub for Busworld expo

In a further boost for Oman’s ambitions to grow as an investment and logistics hub, Busworld – billed as the world’s biggest bus and coach expo – has decided to host the Middle East edition of its biannual event in Muscat.
An agreement to this effect was signed on the sidelines of the International Road Transport Union’s (IRU) World Congress, which concluded in Muscat yesterday. Mwasalat — Oman’s national public transport operator — has been named Busworld’s local host in the staging of the prestigious event.
Signing the pact on behalf of Mwasalat was Ahmed al Balushi, CEO. Brussels-based Busworld was represented by Jan Deman, Director. Also in attendance were Abdulrahman Salim al Hatmi, Group CEO — ASYAD, the holding company of transport and logistics assets in Oman, and Matthias Maedge of the IRU Secretariat.
Speaking at the event, ASYAD’s CEO commented: “This partnership is in line with ASYAD’s efforts to market Oman, as well as position the Sultanate as an attractive investment and logistics hub in the region. Such events are important for us, just as the IRU World Congress, which was successful in attracting major international participants, who will now go back and talk well about Oman. Busworld will have a similar impact.”
Ahmed al Balushi, CEO of Mwasalat, which is part of ASYAD Group, said the Sultanate has been chosen from countries around the Middle East to host the regional edition of this hugely popular event — which is the biggest of its kind in the bus and coach industry. The first edition of Busworld Middle East is provisionally planned in Muscat in 2021, although dates will be firmed up in due course, he said.
Jan Deman of Busworld noted: “Busworld started in Europe in 1971, and we have nine editions all over the world today. The Middle East was something of a blind spot for us, so we were looking for a place here to host our regional edition; Oman, in our analysis came up as a possibility with the most potential,” the Director said, adding that the company sees good partners in ASYAD and Mwasalat.
The potential benefits for Oman as hosts of this prestigious event are immense, he pointed out. “Busworld is the biggest bus and coach exhibition in the world. We have 60,000 sq metres of exhibition space in the Brussels edition, with about 35,000 people visiting from over 114 countries, and over 80 OEM bus manufacturers participating. From this global hub in Brussels, we started Busworld editions all over the world. By bringing Busworld to Oman, we will highlight Muscat and Oman as a hub for public transport in the Middle East.”