Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Did you already buy your land in Duqm?

Nice piece yesterday in The National about how Oman is asking for a tender for an International Airport in Duqm, a place on the coast roughly halfway between Muscat and Salalah, and previously nowhere's ville.

The Government has big, big development plans for the area - a refinery, port, dry dock, coal fired power station, etc etc etc... So, those who bought lands there recently are looking good. Funnily enough, it seems many people in the Government had been buying land down there for quite a while. How lucky are they that it later happened to be a site for massive Government investment!

If you're into speculation and have the local contacts it may not be too late even now, especially if you're willing to wait a decade or so. [Big Hint: You might also think about buying some nice beach lands around Al Ashkharah, further up the coast, Get it now kids while you can...].

Duqm is also close to the recently moved and resized Oryx Reserve, and is close to the Huqf, a generally uninhabited area of considerable natural beauty.

With all this extra cash flowing in, the whole region seems to be like a giant version of Sim City.

Oman invites bids for Duqm airport
Ivan Gale
September 02. 2008 11:00PM UAE
Oman’s efforts to diversify its economy took another step forward yesterday when it invited bids to build an international airport at the coastal city of Duqm, 600km south of Muscat, which will support a host of tourism and industrial projects in the remote coastal area.

The airport, which will be the country’s third international hub after Muscat and Salalah, has an estimated project cost of $200 million (Dh734m).

“It’s difficult to say how much the airport would cost but the government has set aside a budget of around $100 to $200 million for this project,” a tender board official said yesterday.

An earlier construction phase of the airport project, covering the initial earthworks, was put out this summer and has already received 10 bids from construction firms from Oman, India, South Korea, Greece, Iran and Turkey. The lowest bid for this phase came in at $70 million from a local contractor, according to MEED Magazine.

The Government of Oman plans to inject vast sums of money into the Duqm region. The travel and tourism sector will be boosted by new hotels, resorts and public beaches along this coastal area. Last year, the Sultanate received 650,000 tourists throughout the country, including many on chartered tours from Europe, and it has outlined broad goals to increase that number dramatically over the coming years.

Under the development plans of Oman’s Supreme Committee for Town Planning, private developers are also set to build residential projects along Duqm’s coast.

The region will also one day be home to a large industrial and free trade zone in a bid to stimulate Oman’s trade and industrial sector. A total of 21,000 hectares has been allocated for industrial development at Duqm, including a refinery, petrochemical complex and fisheries facilities. The adjoining free trade zone is envisaged as taking up more than 1,000 hectares, according to local news reports.

At Ras Duqm, located seven kilometres from the town of Duqm, a new port will connect the region’s refineries and industrial plans.

Under the plans, the port complex will cover an area of 1.2 million square metres and handle bulk cargo ships of up to 100,000 tonnes. Repair facilities such as dry docks and floating repair docks are also planned to service the oil and gas tankers that regularly ply the Oman coast en route to the Strait of Hormuz and on to the Arabian Gulf.


  1. The airport is USD200million ( , the marine infrastructure for the new Duqm port complex RO 186.892 million ( . Local press reports says the initial investment in developing the marine infrastructure for the giant port and ship repair yard complex has gone up from 368.9 million Omani riyals to 700 million riyals ( and
    The airport is a separate cost of USD200million, assume that the 186Million Marine Infrastructure is part of the up to Rial Omani 700 Marine Infrastructure we have a Total on Airport and Marine Infrastructure of up to USDollar2,024,000,000 (yes thats 2BILLION).
    The population in Al Wusta region is 23058 and in Duqm 9761( . According to the Minister of Nat Econ Duqm is expected to grow into a town of more than 50,000 people and at the moment almost no infrastructure to support it ( - an understatement it dosnt even have a bank). So that will be extra – Power Plants, Desalination, Roads, Electricity cabling, Water Pipes. There will be the new proposed railway link – what else can we think about.
    So just repeat the figures 2 BILLION in a wilayat of less than 10,000people and the VERY low population density region of Al Wasta of23,000.
    I guess the DishDash inspectors in the Ministries have been swayed by their own power. If you can spend USDollar20million on a 2 Ferrys without Jettys why not USDollar 2 BILLION without on a Port without support

  2. the last section should read
    I guess the DishDash inspectors in the Ministries have been swayed by their own power. If you can spend USDollar 120 million on a 2 Ferrys without Jettys why not USDollar 2 BILLION without on a Port without support

  3. Yet another bit of the coast robbed from us locals.

    - Bitter Omani

  4. When PDO gets shifted from Qurm to Duqm that will certainly add to the population. Just wonder how many of the cloggies will be keen to move there. (Although there is lots of intersting geology to look at)

  5. Anon,

    And that doesn't include the 2 billion for the power station, plus probably another 500 mln for the transmission lines. Oh, and another refinery, probably some more petrochemical plants, cement factory,...

    Anon 2
    Yeah, when PDO moves... we'll see how long that takes. I'd give it at least 10 years... and there probably won't be too many cloggies working for PDO by then! I also think it'd be easier to get cloggies and brits to go to Duqm than Omanis!!!!

  6. Sorry about sounding stupid and ignorant, but who are cloggies?

  7. Cloggies are a tribe that came to Oman quite late on. They mainly settled around Ras Al Hamra. They were once great marine navigators. They also settled in Indonesian but today they are not so prominent there. Mostly they live below the tideline, and so are quite tall due to the lesser effects of gravitational pull. They are quite fair skinned. They can sometimes be seen in Spinneys. They are difficult to understand, although they do speak English very well. They are quite friendly when approached albeit a little bit odd at times. They like sokker and various forms of Hash-ing in Oman. The preferred beverage is Hei-ne-ken which is generally obtainable in the Ras Al Hamra area. They also drink potentially dangerous quantities of coffee - so be warned! They should not be confused with a bigger (although related) tribe called the Al Maina who are (or were) quite war-like).


  8. lol at WD's description of Cloggies

  9. Interesting. I too have often seen the Al Cloggie in Ras Al Hamra, but I have also seen small groups in the interior too. Although they don't indulge in sokker there I have noticed that they do indulge in a popular activity called ffusshboll. This maybe because it is too hot in the interior, or that they imbibe too much in their hei-ne-ken in social gatherings. I have never encountered any of the Al Magne tribe there though. I think the Al Cloggie originally came from a land called holant. In Oman they generally lead a largely shelltered life. There have been protests against the Al Cloggie (2007 @ 2008). This mainly involved a boycott of their foodstuffs by other ethic groups in Oman (such as dumping fish stored in vinegar, and rubber-like cheese etc., etc.). However, I know of no complaints against their national beverage which is held in high esteem by nearly all Omani. They seem to live in close cooperation with the Al Ingrish and those of the smaller but more aggressive ginger-haired Smelly-sokk tribe.

  10. Agh I think am getting dumb, I still don't get what is a cloggy.. give me a tribe name dammit

  11. Ali! You are so cute.

    Cloggies are Dutch people. People who are dutch are associated with shoes made of wood, known as Clogs SHell is a Dutch company.

    Heinekin is Beer brewed in Holland, but very popular with the local drinkers here be they dutch or Omani.

    Everybody else, that is the funniest string of comments I have ever read. More please!

  12. Ah thanks Suburban, I AM getting dumber it seems hmmm.. anon even mentioned holant agh. Cloggy der van van nice!

  13. Suburban,
    Thanks for helping Ali.

    thanks for asking the 'hey, can ask a dumb sounding question?' question. It takes guts.

    I often expect I should be getting far more of such queries, but many readers don't want to ask...

    And in my limited experience, the really simple questions are always the ones that are most difficult to answer...


If you wish to post anonymously, please pick a nickname by selecting the Name/URL option, or at least sign off your comment with one! I will delete comments I find objectionable or needlessly inflammatory. Sorry for the word verification.... OMG the spam has gotten BAD these past 12 months... trying to avoid making one log in...