Muscat: Oman is planning to build 31 fishing ports or harbours by 2020, with a host of facilities to encourage fishermen and increase revenues.
"By 2020, there will be 31 fishing ports in all. Each port will have land available for investors to set up their own projects. As of now, Oman has 21 ports. The construction of four new ports will begin soon, and six ports are in the design, tender, and other stages," Dr Hamed bin Said Al Oufi, under-secretary (Fisheries Wealth) at the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries Wealth, told Times of Oman.
Giving details about the ports, the under-secretary said, "We have recently signed up with contractors for the two ports of Taqah in Dhofar and Barka."
The work at Taqah harbour, located less than two kilometres from Taqah town, bisecting the main Salalah-Mirbat carriageway, consists of the construction of a 150-metre-long concrete quay line, 1,783 metres of breakwater, reclamation work, construction of roads and pavements, dredging of the harbour basin to 5 metres depth, and construction of a marina facility and slipway. The Turkish construction conglomerate, Sezai Turkes-Feyzi Akkaya, has been assigned the construction work. The fishing harbour in the wilayat of Barka in South Al Batinah governorate is being built by Galfar Engineering and Contracting Company, while the ports at Liwa and Musannah have also been given to contractors. Dr Hamed said that the construction work on these four ports will begin within two months.
Hallaniyat Islands, formerly known as Quriya Muriya Islands, situated in Dhofar are expected to be opened next year after the Khareef season, said the under-secretary. Galfar Engineering and Contracting won the Hallaniyat contract to build marine infrastructure and handle related work.
The contract, estimated at $100.4 million, will encompass the development of infrastructure and the construction of roads and other facilities. Ports serve as a catalyst for the development of a region. For a country like Oman, which is endowed with a long coastline, well-serviced small to medium fishing ports ensure balanced development along the coast.
Therefore, Oman has taken a conscious decision that by the end of the current Five Year Plan all the coastal towns will have their own fishing ports, noted Dr Hamed.