Muscat Dec 19 – With logistics emerging as one of the key non-oil sectors as part of diversification strategy, Batinah Expressway offers the vital link that connects the rest of the GCC with the help of bustling ports of Suhar and Duqm. Assigned by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos as part of the 48th National Day celebrations, His Highness Sayyid Fatik bin Fahr al Said presided over the grand opening of Batinah Expressway on Wednesday. Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Saleem al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications (MoTC), said the opening of the road completes the integration of all modes of transport as well as inter-connectivity between ports, airports, industrial and economic zones, public transport with a strategic road that fulfills the sustainable development needs. Speaking about the Diba-Lima-Khasab project, Minister of Transport told to OmanTV: “Considered as one of the most arduous and vital projects in the Sultanate, Diba-Lima-Khasab Road comprises a large number of tunnels. The construction of the strategic linking road will help connect the Wilayat of Diba with Khasab. By the middle of next year, tender will be floated for the purpose.”
Batinah Expressway, one of the strategic projects overseen by the ministry, is a 270-km road that starts from the end of Muscat Expressway at the Halban interchange and ends at Khatmat Malaha in Shinas. The road consists of four 3.75m-wide lanes on each side, three-metre external shoulder, two-metre internal shoulders, 23 interchanges, 17 flyovers, 12 underpasses and 25 wadi bridges. After six years of hard work, the expressway, considered one of the important national milestones, is officially open now, Al Futaisi said. The road, implemented as per highest international standards, will facilitate fast-track movement of goods and people between Musandam, Al Buraimi, North and South Al Batinah, and Muscat Governorate.
The road will help in reducing traffic pressure on Batinah Highway by offering a strategic alternative in the wake of rapid economic development in North and South Al Batinah, and Muscat Governorate. Combined with Muscat Expressway, this highway could be rated among the engineering marvels, taking into account the hilly geographical terrain all through the route. The Ministry of Housing has already allocated plots for two integrated fuel stations in Suwaiq, and one each in Saham and Liwa. Apart from fuel stations, facilities to be offered at these sites include a mosque, shopping centre, car service centre and a restaurant, among others.