Muscat - Less than a month after it was formally unveiled at its site in Duqm Special Economic Zone, the Omani-Qatari JV Karwa Motors has announced the export of its first batch of ‘Made in Oman’ buses to Doha over the weekend.

The shipment was handled by Al Madina Logistics Services Company (AMLS), a leading Omani provider of warehousing and logistics services, as well as operator of dry ports in the Sultanate of Oman.

An initial batch of 34 buses was ferried to Al Madina’s logistics hub at Sohar from where the buses were loaded onto a ship destined for Port Hamad in Doha (Qatar).

In a post on Thursday, Mahmood Sakhi al Balushi, Group CEO of AMLS, said: “We thank Karwa Motors for the trust and faith placed in AMLS and are proud to have been a part of this project. These buses signify a first on many levels; the first ones made in Oman, the first ones rolling out of Karwa Motor’s assembly line at Duqm, and the first ones delivered successfully to the customer in Qatar.”

He further added: “This move was handled by our professional freight forwarding team and facilitated through our dry port at AMLS Sohar Logistics Hub, before the vehicles embarked on their journey to Hamad Port.”

Mikel Ecenarro, Chief Operations Officer at Karwa Motors LLC, commented: “The AMLS team has been very proactive in handling this first batch and shown their competencies throughout the process for a new company (and industry) in Oman. As pioneers in the field of automotive manufacturing in the country, we felt comfortable with the skills and passion shown by AMLS to make this business grow in the region.”

A joint venture of Oman Investment Authority (30 per cent) and Mowasalat Qatar (70 per cent), Karwa Motors was officially launched on June 23, 2022 in the presence of top officials from the two countries as well as their high level executives representing the shareholders.

Set up with an investment of $71 million, it is the first plant of its kind dedicated to the assembly of passenger buses and coaches, and a potential cornerstone of a future automotive manufacturing sector envisioned to come up in the Sultanate of Oman.

Covering an area of over 560,000 sq metres, the plant is equipped to assemble three different types of buses: city-based buses, school buses and intercity buses, ranging in size from 8 to 12 metre, with seats ranging from 30 to 55 seats. Output at full capacity is estimated at 700 buses per annum, with ample space available for the production of electric buses and other automotive goods.

Initial output from the plant is destined for use during the Fifa 2022 World Cup, which opens in Qatar later this year.

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