Muscat: The work on a road to link Oman with Saudi Arabia via Al Rab Al Khali region will be completed by the end of next year, according to a report published by Al Shabiba, the Arabic newspaper of Times of Oman.
Eng. Salim bin Mohammed Al Nuaimi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communication, said that some agencies have requested the roadway to be opened for light traffic. The distance of the road on Omani side is around 160km, which was completed in 2004. However, the remaining 10km distance has been delayed till the border crossing
between the Kingdom and the Sultanate is mutually agreed, noted the report.
Eng. Al Nuaimi explained that the project is facing delays as the Saudi side has not completed their part of the project. He added that necessary facilities and services will be provided for successful completion of the project.
"The Oman-Saudi Arabia highway project will facilitate one border crossing point instead of four to benefit travellers from both the countries," the undersecretary said in an interview with Al Shabiba. He also hoped that the project will help promote tourism and business between the two brotherly nations.
Saudi press quoted Dr Jabbara bin Eid Al Sarisari, Saudi minister of transport, as saying that work on the 519-km-long section, which will connect Al Batha border post in Al Ahsa governorate is under construction at an estimated cost of 1.623 billion Saudi rials. The Saudi minister hoped that the section will be completed by the end of this year.
The new Oman-Saudi Arabia road will help reduce distance between the two countries from current 2,000km to just 800km once the construction on the Haras to Al Kharkhiir section is complete. Travellers from the Sultanate will not have to travel via the UAE once the joint-project is complete.