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The New Arab

Oman opens passenger terminal at new eastern city airport

Duqm is one of Oman's most expensive infrastructure projects [AFP]

Date of publication: 17 September, 2018

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Oman's latest infrastructure project, Duqm port, has been given an additional boost with the unveiling of a new airport.
Duqm airport, situated close to Oman's shoreline, welcomed its first airliner on Monday, in the latest boost for the country's transport infrastructure that Muscat has bet big on.

An Oman Air passenger plane, travelling from Muscat, touched down on the tarmac of the new airport on Monday at 2:30pm, with fire engines dousing the aircraft with water cannons - a custom for inaugural flights in Oman.

The new terminal for commercial passengers was unveiled on Monday, serving the remote city of Duqm which will host one of the sultanate's biggest infrastructure projects.

It is expected to welcome 500,000 passengers a year, with hopes the capacity will expand to 2 million in the coming years.

Oman hopes its new port and free zone projects in Duqm will bring in new revenues for the country, as it seeks to diversify its economy away from a reliance on oil and gas.

It also seeks to revitalise the Wusta region of Oman, an isolated and sparsely populated part of the sultanate with little infrastructure, which has rich mineral resources.

Duqm's position in eastern Oman, outside the Straits of Hormuz, gives the sultanate a strategic advantage it hopes will attract shipping giants.

Plans are underway for industrial zones and a dry dock in Duqm, as well as developing tourism and entertainment options to transform the sleepy fishing village into a key free zone and industrial hub.

China and Iran are among the countries to invest heavily in the city with Special Economic Zone in Duqm projects expected to reach 11.2 billion rials ($29 billion).

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