Situated on the southeastern seaboard of the Sultanate of Oman, overlooking the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean beyond, Port of Duqm is fast becoming an important reality of the Middle East region’s rapidly transforming maritime landscape. With its deep draft, lengthy quay walls, and expansive basin, Port of Duqm has the trappings of a world-class, multipurpose commercial gateway. And as the principal anchor of a huge Special Economic Zone envisioned at Duqm, it also has the potential to develop into one of the Middle East’s largest ports over the long term.
At the heart of Port of Duqm’s appeal is its strategic geopolitical location, far removed from Strait of Hormuz and the Arabian Gulf. It is this advantageous location that the Omani government seeks to leverage as it sets out to position Duqm as a safe, stable and business-friendly destination for industrial and economic investment. Indeed, the Sultanate of Oman – and the Port of Duqm in particular – stand to reap the benefits of the country’s international reputation as an oasis of tranquility and standard-bearer of regional peace and reconciliation.
Underscoring Port of Duqm’s strategic importance is its planned development into an integrated, multimodal logistics hub, encompassing the maritime, road, air and rail modes of transportation. An airport is under construction at Duqm, while a proposed rail-based freight and passenger transportation network, will eventually link this industrial port city with the national rail system. Utilities and services are also modern, effectively providing investors with an unrivaled setting to do business. Free-trade agreements (FTAs) with the United States and Singapore, as well as its hospitality and trade minded culture, add to Oman’s investment appeal.
Port of Duqm Company (PDC)
The Port of Duqm Company SAOC (PDC) is a 50:50 joint venture between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and Consortium Antwerp Port (CAP). CAP is a Belgian consortium comprised of Port of Antwerp, Europe’s second largest sea-port, and Rent-A-Port, a company specialized in port development and management. Under an agreement signed with the Omani government in April 2011, PDC has been granted a 28-year concession, starting from July 2015, which allows the promotor entities to operate, manage, maintain and market the Port of Duqm. Responsibility for the management and operation of the port area thus lies with PDC. Also covered within the PDC mandate is the authority to govern navigation within and around the port boundaries, as well as the wider Bay of Masirah.
Duqm Industrial Land Company (DILC)
PDC and CAP have formed another company called Duqm Industrial Land Company (DILC) which has been granted separate concession areas covering 2000 hectares in total, comprising of 500ha land suitable for heavy industries, 500ha for medium-to-heavy industries and 1000ha land for petrochemicals.
A first 250 area of Medium heavy industry has already been developed in the direct vicinity of the future Duqm Refinery. The land is leveled and available for investors on an immediate basis to develop their project.
Port of Duqm is perfectly positioned to serve both – the Eastern and the Western corridors, due to its central geographic location. It is situated out of the Strait of Hormuz, in the middle of Indian Ocean, opens directly into the international waters and lies in the immediate vicinity of the international trade route between Asia and Europe. Its location makes it very attractive to the shipping lines and the large and developing Indian and African markets can be easily catered from Duqm. Besides, Oman is part of the GCC alliance which enables it to readily serve the GCC countries, in close proximity to the Port.
Duqm’s central location within the Sultanate of Oman also makes it the ideal point of entry for all cargoes destined to the major inland projects and oil and gas concession areas.
Port of Duqm plays the following roles: