Batinah Expressway to open by April-end

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has unveiled its plans for the current year, including the opening of the Duqm Airport terminal.
The government will also focus on the doubling of Rusayl-Bidbid road, the seventh package of Batinah Expressway and Batinah Highway and Dibba-Khasab road project.
Al Batinah Express Expressway (packages 2, 3, 4 and 5) is expected to open for traffic by the end of April this year. The government said the work on the Suhar-Buraimi railway line will commence in coordination with other GCC countries and is awaiting a status update from them on that front.
Meanwhile, the focus is on Dhofar-Duqm mineral railway line.
Currently, 27 road projects are under way, including tunnels, measuring a length of 943 sqm across the country, at a cost of RO 1.3 billion.
The ministry will continue with its efforts on private investment in the Sohar Airport, including Package 3 of the project, and establishment of free zones around airports.
All work on the new Muscat International Airport, including the opening of the southern runway, will be on focus this year.
The ministry said the meter system will be activated in all taxis in the Sultanate along with introduction of 10 new bus routes in Muscat and application of rules governing the new land transport law.
The government also plans to launch public transport in Suhar and Salalah.
There will be a company to manage ports of Suwaiq, Shinas, Khasab and Masirah.
Apart from the launch of a national e-commerce strategy, tender for the satellite project and licence for the third telecom operator will be issued this year.
Salim bin Mohammed al Nuaimi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, said that work is under way to implement 27 key projects including 25 asphalt road projects and 3 dust road projects with the total length of 943 km at a cost of about RO 1.3 billion.
About 342 km of asphalt roads will be completed this year.
Last year 744 km of roads were constructed at a cost of RO 833 million, said Al Nuaimi.
Said bin Hamdoon al Harthy, Under-Secretary of the Ministry for Ports and Maritime Affairs, made a presentation on ports and marine affairs sector, in addition to the ferries traffic between Shannah and Khasab.
During the meeting, Dr Mohammed bin Nasser al Za’abi, CEO of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA), reviewed the authority’s plans and pointed out that the new passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport will be officially opened on March 20.
The event will be preceded by opening of the air cargo building on March 19.
During 2018, the supply and aircraft maintenance buildings will be completed and the tender for rehabilitating the southern runway will be awarded.
On public transport in Muscat, the government will float tenders for the ticket vending machines and the bus tracking systems.
Mwasalat has announced the new bus routes that will be launched in the capital, including the ones offering connectivity to new airport.
There will be two routes from the new airport, one towards Ruwi Bus Station and another towards Burj al Sahwa. It will extend the Ruwi-Muttrah and Ruwi-Wadi Kabir routes to the Al Bustan area in the coming months.
The company will be introducing following routes this year:
Al Athaiba-Al Anzab; Al Athaiba-Bausher; Wattayah-Mina al Fahal; Maabela-Seeb Souq-Burj al Sahwa; Burj al Sahwa-Rusayl-Knowledge Oasis Oman (KOM); Al Khoud-Mawaleh Central Market-KOM; Al Khoud-Mawaleh Central Market-Burj al Sahwa; Al Khoud-South Mawaleh-Burj al Sahwa; Al Khuwair-North Mawaleh; Burj al Sahwa-Bausher-Al Khuwair.