The Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) unveiled its latest innovation, the Omap platform yesterday. This digital portal revolutionises the way people access comprehensive geographical data, encompassing masterplans for special economic zones, free zones, and industrial cities overseen by OPAZ. Omap empowers users with detailed information and services via interactive digital maps and tools. Omap represents the first step in enhancing OPAZ's online land allocation service.
The introduction of Omap Platform aligns seamlessly with OPAZ's commitment to enhancing investor services. It simplifies and expedites procedures, reduces time and effort, ensures equitable opportunities for all investors, and prevents overlapping plans. This platform offers effortless access to precise spatial information through detailed interactive maps for all zones, even pinpointing available lands for investment and associated economic activities.
Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Chairman of the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones, emphasised the platform's unique capabilities. In an interview with Observer, he stated, "Investors can examine the elevation of the land, whether inside or outside Oman. It allows investors to understand the surface area of the land, they are able to decide whether the power line is near enough or the water capacity is available, and whether that particular plot is suitable for their specific industry, hotel, or commercial activity. It will also enable investors to understand whether there are roads planned for the future or if there is a network of fiber optics or a telephone network.”
The primary objective of this platform is to boost investment opportunities within and outside Oman, delivering information and spatial systems that empower investor decision-making. It also facilitates the use of modern technologies in urban planning and enables the printing of maps.
Al Sunaidy added, “Anything that's either available or in the pipeline, this platform will allow investors to comprehend it and also enables them to remotely reserve the land, whether inside or outside Oman. They have a 20-day window to reserve the land and finalise the land acquisition process. Furthermore, it allows investors, both inside and outside Oman, to interact and learn more about the specific plot available within all our zones. We also collect data, utilising artificial intelligence, to understand the preferences and concerns of people, allowing the Authority to plan ahead effectively."
Speaking at the launch event, Najya bint Sultan al Hajri, Section Head of Geographical Information System (GIS), highlighted Omap's features, including location searches for investment properties and comprehensive information on nearby landmarks and facilities like hospitals, restaurants, schools, stores, and hotels. Users can also obtain land details by type, usufruct rates, location coordinates, size, and nearby utilities such as electricity, telecommunications, water, and transportation networks.
Furthermore, the platform allows users to measure distances between different locations and their proximity to transportation networks relevant to goods shipping. GIS enthusiasts can access the latest satellite imagery, add information, upload pictures, and coordinates for OPAZ-affiliated zones. Omap even informs users about drone-specific locations and restricted drone flying zones. Future enhancements will include a service for photographing projects upon investor request.
The Omap Platform is equipped with a toolkit that aids users, offering measurement tools, planning, drawing, and annotation features, proximity service searches, cadastral drawing capabilities (Krooki), map printing, and a site selection tool for digitally recording coordinates.
This platform also brings several advantages, including the identification of biodiversity sites, reserves, tourist attractions, camping areas, and more. It provides insights into weather and climate conditions through connections to climate monitoring stations in the zones. Additionally, it offers information related to soil tests in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm, which is a focal point for future and artificial intelligence technologies.
Omap Platform is set to play a pivotal role in promoting special economic zones, free zones, industrial cities, and investment opportunities by offering easy access to comprehensive geographical data and unified electronic services at reduced costs. It will contribute to the development and enrichment of urban planning processes and the establishment of smart digital economic cities.