The Sultanate of Oman is on the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula and in a strategically important position at the mouth of the Arabian Gulf. The Sultanate has launched a new world class port, Port of Duqm, and a massive Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD) in a strategically located region, Duqm.
The Duqm project is the flagship of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said’s 2020 vision to accelerate the Sultanate’s economic development.
Port of Duqm, the heart of the entire Special Economic Zone, is strategically located outside of the Arabian Gulf away from the Strait of Hormuz, with proximity to the major shipping lanes connecting the East and West. It seeks to attract cargo from and to India as well as Indian investment in its world class facility within the Special Economic Zone.
This was emphasised by Mr Anwar Abdulsattar Al Balushi, Port Commercial Manager, Port of Duqm, during a brief interaction with Exim India in Mumbai recently.
He highlighted the key attractions of Port of Duqm and Special Economic Zone and why the facility should be of interest to Indian cargo players and manufacturers. So what is it about the Port of Duqm and Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD)?
Port of Duqm: A deep-draught, multipurpose commercial gateway
As per an official port communiqué, the Port of Duqm, a joint venture between the Omani government and Consortium Antwerp Port, situated on the south-eastern seaboard of the Sultanate of Oman overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, is fast becoming an important reality of the Middle East region’s rapidly transforming maritime landscape.
The Port of Duqm Company fulfils the multiple roles of:
* Port Authority
* Terminal Operator of the Multipurpose, Dry Bulk and Early Container Terminal
* Landlord of the 5,000 ha of land (Port Bound, Logistics, Liquid Bulk and Industrial Land) which have been granted under its concessions
* Single focal point for investors
The port has entered into an early operations phase with a fully functional dry port and commercial quay capable of handling heavy lift project cargo, general cargo, dry bulk and containers.
In addition, it offers a wide range of services such as MARPOL facilities, fresh water supply, fuel bunkering, and domestic waste collection and treatment facilities.
Being closely located to the major oil and gas and mining projects in Oman, Duqm is seeking to increase its activity level exponentially in the years to come.
A multipurpose feeder line linking Duqm with the main regional ports of Salalah, Sohar and Jebel Ali is already in place. Port, Logistics and Industrial prime land is prepared and readily available for investors seeking to benefit from the integrated package of incentives the SEZ has to offer.
With its deep draught (18 m), lengthy quay walls and expansive basin, Port of Duqm has the trappings of a world class, multipurpose commercial gateway.
It has 2.2 km of quay length with current capacity of 100,000 to 200,000 TEUs, 4 million tonnes of dry bulk, and 1 million tonnes of project, break-bulk and heavy lift cargo. The plan by 2020 is for 2 container terminals with 3.5 million TEUs per annum capacity and 5 million tonnes of dry bulk. The port operates 24/7.
The Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD)
The Special Economic Zone Authority in Duqm (SEZAD) stretches over 2,000 sq. km with a 80 km long beachfront, which makes it the biggest in the Middle East. The SEZAD authorities have started developing 40 per cent of the area. The remainder part is left for future expansions.
The facility is divided into 8 main areas that include a world class 18 m deep-draught port, a massive dry dock, a 230,000 b/d oil refinery, a regional airport, a heavy-medium and light industries complex, a residential and commercial area, a tourism area, in addition to a logistics services area.
The immense size of the project allows for the establishment of various mega projects. The government has ensured that the area is fit for a wide number of business activities to meet the needs of its investors. The Master Plan of this greenfield development is determined to guarantee ecological balance and allow residents and industrial tenants to move from one area to another smoothly using the main and sub-road networks.
The area will house an advanced petrochemical industries and industrial complex that will use secured oil and natural gas supplies. It will also house an integrated manufacturing industry area that will utilise the available natural resources in the al Wusta governorate.
Moreover, the area is known for its abundant fish resources, which qualify it to become a hub for fish processing industries and aquaculture projects. Duqm enjoys a modest climate during summer as well as winter, in addition to the natural beauty of the region which will encourage the development of its touristic area. A separate legislative framework has been implemented for the entire SEZ, which includes a package of business-friendly incentives applicable for all investors establishing themselves in the zone.
Duqm business incentives
* 100 per cent foreign ownership
* Tax exemption for 30 years
* Free repatriation of capital and profits
* No minimum capital requirement
* No currency restrictions
* No personal income tax
* Exemption from import and export duties
* Usufruct agreements up to 50 years renewable
* One-stop station service
Duqm has a vision to be the preferred Economic Zone for overseas investment in the Sultanate.