While a significant portion of economic activity in Oman is concentrated in the capital and nearby surrounding areas, a number of other regions remain key drivers of economic growth. Moreover, these regions are playing an increasingly important role as the national economy matures and diversifies. For example, Sohar offers shipping firms a seaport south of the Strait of Hormuz, which reduces operational costs incurred by heavy congestion through the channel. Indeed, shipping at the Port of Sohar has increased substantially in recent years, with dry bulk growing by over 400% and liquid bulk by 65%. The Port of Salalah is another key transport hub for the region, the attractiveness of which to investors has grown markedly with the establishment of the Salalah Free Zone (SFZ). In Duqm - Oman’s third emerging economic hub - the bulk of economic activity in Duqm focuses on the industry and transport sectors, both of which are expanding rapidly.
This chapter includes interviews with Yahya bin Said Al Jabri, Chairman, Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD); and Said bin Hamdoon Al Harthi, Undersecretary for Ports & Maritime Affairs at the Ministry of Transport & Communications.