Contract for University City in Duqm SEZ to be signed soon

Muscat, MAY 4 – A contract for the establishment of a new University City in Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZ) will be signed later this month, Yahya bin Saeed al Jabri (pictured), Chairman of the Board of the SEZ Authority of Duqm (SEZAD), announced here at the weekend.
The University City, anchored by a private college, will be established on an area of 1 million sq metres, with the groundbreaking planned before the end of this year, he said. The facility will offer subjects relevant to the mega industrial and logistics investments coming up in the SEZ, he stated.
In an interview, Al Jabri said the University City project, among a host of other initiatives supported by the Authority, are in keeping with His Majesty’s Royal Directives on enabling investment and economic development in the Sultanate. These Royal Directives were articulated at the Council of Ministers’ meeting presided over by His Majesty last week, he said.
Significantly, as many as 19 usufruct agreements were signed by the Authority with various Omani and foreign investors during the first quarter of this year, according the Chairman. It includes a pact with Dhofar Fisheries and Food Industries Company SAOG for establishing a factory for fish packaging, canning and fish oil production. Other agreements were signed with the promoters of various industrial, tourism, commercial, service, and residential commercial projects. Land allocated to these investors from January 1 to early May totals 1.2 million sq metres.
Commenting on Oman’s participation in Belt & Road Forum held in the Chinese capital last week, Al Jabri said the Sultanate’s delegation also include representation from Ithraa, State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) and the Central Bank of Oman (CBO). Deliberations also focused on an action plan for the implementation of investments totalling $10.7 billion in the Sino-Oman Industrial City promoted by Oman Wanfang Company. During the forum, MoUs were signed for setting up three projects in the Fisheries and Light Industrial Zones of the SEZ.
On the sidelines of the forum, the Oman delegation held talks with Ning Jizhe, Vice-President of the National Commission of Development and Reform in China. They discussed opportunities for cooperation in the framework of the Belt & Road Initiative. Both sides also studied options for the opening a Chinese bank in the Sultanate, benefiting from the expertise of Chinese financial firms, cooperation between the Central Bank of Oman and Chinese banks, and ways of strengthening cooperation between the SGRF and Chinese financial institutions.
Efforts are also ongoing in developing the infrastructure of the SEZ in Duqm, said Al Jabri. In this regard he gave an overview of the progress achieved thus far in the construction of the Commercial Quay at the Port of Duqm, the Liquids Berth at the port. Further, in a move to enhance Duqm’s appeal to international fishing vessels, the draft of the Fisheries Port at Duqm is being deepened to 10 metres, up from 6 metres originally, he added.