Muscat: At the conclusion of the state visit by His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it was agreed to expedite the procss opening of the land border ports that will give direct road between Saudi Arabia and Oman.
An agreement was made between the Sultanate and the Kingdom that directed the concerned authorities to expedite the opening of the direct and port road
As part of the ongoing visit of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Excellency Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal al Busaidi, Minister of Interior, discusses during his meeting with Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud al Saud, Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia means of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries and
They also discussed the issue of accelerating the procedures for opening the land border linking the Sultanate and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the Empty Quarter.
The carriageway — traversing the treacherous dunes of the Rub Al Khali (The Empty Quarter) — will enable trade flows between the Sultanate and the Saudi heartland.
All manner of local manufacturers, distributors, and logistics operators are eyeing a bonanza of opportunities to freight goods from as far afield as Salalah and Duqm, among other areas, to sustain the growing needs of the Gulf’s biggest economy. Overland transportation from, say, Duqm or Salalah, into Riyadh, will be far cheaper and speedier than, say, a ship carrying the same goods making its way into the Upper Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz.
Aside from the immense trade and transportation spinoffs, the new carriageway will also provide a safer, shorter and more convenient alternative to the existing 1,640km route that motorists must navigate to reach Saudi Arabia. Traversing the territory of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) en route, the latter route is reputed to take between 16 – 18 hours to cover.
Years in the making, the new Oman-Saudi desert highway is expected to cut travel time by around 12 hours and the journey by around 800 kilometres. The strategically important carriageway starts at Tanam in Ibri Wilayat and ends at the Omani border, about 160km away. On the Saudi side, it runs for a further 550 km before linking up with the key Batha-Haradh highway leading to Riyadh.
Dubbed by experts as a marvel of road engineering, the new road attempts to conquer The Empty Quarter’s constantly shifting and soaring sand-dunes.
Trade and logistics will be among the biggest beneficiaries when the new highway is thrown open to traffic. Seeking to strengthen Oman’s role as a global trade hub in line with the Sultanate of Oman Logistics Strategy (SOLS 2040), local authorities have been introducing internationally accepted trade facilitation to support speedy and cost-competitive trade flows between Oman and its neighbours.
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