Construction of a new economic city in Barka, Oman, is due to begin in the second half of this year.
The plan is for a 52m sq meter integrated city, located in the South Batinah Governorate of Oman, including the development of a dry port, logistics and industrial areas, a free-trade zone, and commercial and residential zones.
Khalid bin Awadh Al Balushi, CEO of Khazaen Economic City (KEC), was quoted by the state Oman News Agency (ONA) as saying: “The work on the detailed design of the city has reached a very advanced stage. The first construction contracts will be awarded and construction works will commence in the second half of this year.”
This follows announcements of the first investment agreements with foreign investors to fund two production plants in the city. Hema Leading Line, an Omani petrochemical manufacturer, will use petrochemical raw materials for roads and construction and Muscat Manufacturing and Industries will develop water disinfectant products, according to the ONA.
The city plan has been created through a public private partnership with Omani public stakeholders and private investors and developers.
Khazaen is a strategic location between Sohar Port and Muscat International Airport that has drawn increasing global interest, and KEC plans to sign a number of similar investment agreements in the coming weeks, said Al Balushi.
“Over the last few months, we have focused on building Khazaen’s unique selling proposition as the region’s leading new investment destination. This public-private partnership is already attracting foreign companies, which will create jobs, enable economic multipliers supporting logistics SMEs and encourage local raw material refining into value-added products. We are reaping the fruits of our hard work,” Al Balushi said.