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Major Oman-Saudi road link to open at end of year

Stretch seen as vital link for moving goods from Sohar and Muscat

Picture for illustrative purposes only.
Picture for illustrative purposes only.

A major road link from Oman to Saudi Arabia will be completed at the end of this year, an offical from the Port of Sohar/Freezone has revealed.

The dual-carriageway will stretch from Sohar to the Saudi Arabian border via Ibri, providing a vital link for cargo coming from Sohar and also Muscat.

It has been developed by the Ministry of Transport and Saudi Arabia is also building a link from its end to the Oman border but completion has been pushed back to next year.

Mahdi Al Lawatia, manager assets development at the Sohar Port/Freezone, told CW: “Primarily it is for the transport of goods and containers to Saudi Arabia instead of going through Dubai and Qatar. Now we can cross through Ibri and then on to the Saudi Arabian border. That’s a project which we have initiated long back to government – but they had to design it and float a tender for consultants and then construct it – and then it got really delayed in awarding the project.

“Moreover, we are from here pushing politically to get Saudi Arabia to have their connecting road to the border of Oman completed, however this is again delayed from their side. But at least at the end of this year it should be completed from our side and June next year it should be completed from the Saudi Arabian side.”

Mahdi said the initial plan was to have the road open before Sultan Qaboos Port closed in August given that its commercial activities have now switched to the Port of Sohar.

“That’s a very good link road for all our logistics and even our end users down here,’ said Mahdi. “And again all these ships would prefer if there is a direct link, if it would be a train that would be perfect. A direct link from us to Jeddah or to Riyadh instead of ships having to sail on the Red Sea to Jeddah and hand over their containers down there.”

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Construction Week - Issue 742
May 23, 2019