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Oman’s industrial cities target RO 8bn of new investments

@conrad prabhu -

Robust growth: Six new industrial cities under development; Goal to develop 50m sq metres of new acreage for industrial investment

A long-term strategy drawn up by Oman’s Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn) envisions over RO 8 billion of new investment inflows into its expanding network of existing and new industrial cities by the year 2040.

According to a senior official of the state-owned enterprise (SOE) – part of Oman Investment Authority – as many as six new industrial cities are currently being prepped for new investment, supplementing the existing seven cities, as well as a technology park and free zone, presently in operation under Madayn’s auspices around the Sultanate.

“Madayn’s 2040 Vision is to create world-class business cities that will help Oman’s long-term socioeconomic development through investments in manufacturing and industry,” said Ibtisam al Farouji (pictured), Director General of Investment Services at Madayn. “We aim to be among the Top 5 economic institutions in the Middle East and North African region with investments totaling around RO 15 billion in these industrial cities by 2040.”

Speaking at the OER Manufacturing Summit 2021, which was held at Sheraton Oman Hotel on Wednesday, the official said Madayn’s 2040 Vision provides a roadmap for positioning the manufacturing and industrial sector as a strong pillar of the Sultanate’s long-term socioeconomic growth.

It seeks to more than double investments in Madayn’s industries from RO 6.8 billion presently, increase the total area under industrial development to 170 million sq metres, up from around 120 million sq metres presently, and lift the total number of projects operating in these cities to 10,000 by 2040, up from around 2,300 presently.

As a major driver of job growth, the industrial cities will seek to ramp up the total size of their aggregate workforce to around 279,000 employees by 2040, up from around 59,000 presently. Around half of the targeted number will comprise of Omanis, she said.

Significantly, as many as six new industrial cities are planned for development in the coming years, adding to a network of strategically located zones that leverage Oman’s geographical advantages and infrastructural strengths, Al Farouji said. These new clusters are coming up at Mahas (Musandam), Ibri (Dhahirah), Shinas (North Al Batinah), Marmul and Thamrait (Dhofar) and Al Mudhaibi (North Al Sharqiya).

As part of its long-term vision, Madayn is looking to invite the private sector to operate and manage existing and future industrial cities, while its role will be limited to that of policymaker and regulator, she said. Additionally, private sector investment is also sought in soft infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools, residential blocks, transportation and shopping centres, to enhance the overall investment appeal of these cities, she added.

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