The Port of Duqm officially opened in February 2022, having run limited services under pre-development status since 2016. The port was developed in partnership with Belgium’s Port of Antwerp. It is a focal component of the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD), overseen by the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) and the Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority. Significant development funding for SEZAD came from Chinese consortium Wanfang Oman, which pledged $10.7bn. The adjoining port’s proximity to key international shipping lanes and position as a commercial gateway to the broader Gulf are being harnessed to attract global investment in industrial, logistics and export enterprises.

The Port of Duqm offers modern, regionally competitive infrastructure and facilities, with an annual capacity of 1.7m twenty-foot equivalent units. It features three berths – one for commercial purposes, one for government activities and one for liquid materials handling – four automated cranes and 12 bridge yard cranes. Its 18-metre-deep basin and 19-metre channel allow it to accommodate the world’s largest cargo vessels.

Engine For Growth

SEZAD is home to other key infrastructure. The 230,000-barrel-per-day Duqm Refinery, set to open by end-2023, is designed to drive growth in downstream hydrocarbons industries and boost related exports through synergy with the port. An estimated 700 activities will be open for investment in the zone, including tourism, logistics, fisheries, food, advanced technologies, renewable energy and petrochemicals, all of which could help shape Oman’s future economy. “There is a large amount of land available surrounding the Port of Duqm, which is rare to find,” Reggy Vermeulen, CEO of Port of Duqm Company, told OBG. “Additionally, the infrastructure in place makes it a prime destination for businesses.”

A range of real estate development and commercial opportunities are also available. As of mid-2022 SEZAD had attracted OR3.7bn ($9.6bn) in private finance. Diversifying manufacturing capacities is a core component of the government’s medium- and long-term development plans, with the supply chain efficiency offered by the port and Duqm’s wider logistics infrastructure a key factor in attracting international industrial operators to the zone. Further evidence that the presence of SEZAD and the Port of Duqm is helping to drive growth is seen in the fact that the port development has stimulated the construction of 32 roads, strengthening transport and logistics infrastructure.


In December 2022 an agreement was announced between OPAZ and Marsa Al Duqm Investments Company, an Oman Investment Authority-owned consortium, to develop a 7.5-sq-km fishing port at Duqm. Fisheries are among those industries selected to drive economic diversification. By establishing a fishing port at Duqm, the government aims to capitalise on the region’s abundant fish stocks. The development is designed to attract international fisheries operators, enable growth for local fishing enterprises and boost the country’s value-added capabilities.

Integrated Services

The Port of Duqm’s proximity to Duqm Refinery provides an opportunity for the sultanate to strengthen its marine services capacities and revenues. In December 2021 Oman Oil Marketing Company (OOMCO) launched a new bunker terminal at the port. OOMCO began the venture to capitalise on the port’s situation along international shipping lanes, specifically those that travel along the Suez Canal, the Gulf and the Indian Ocean. The terminal, with facilities including a delivery barge with a capacity of 10,000 tonnes, will provide a comprehensive range of marine fuels. The fuel will be supplied by Duqm Refinery and allows OOMCO to offer competitive prices. Recent estimates suggest that the Middle East and Africa’s bunker fuel market could expand by up to 12% between 2022 and 2025. In light of Duqm’s strategically advantageous location, OOMCO has set the target of establishing itself among the Gulf’s primary bunker suppliers by 2027.