Muscat – In line with Oman’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, the sultanate plans to phase out fuel-operated vehicles and ensure that 79 per cent of vehicles in the country by 2035 are electric.
This was revealed during the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology’s annual media meeting held on Wednesday to unveil its plans for 2023.
H E Said bin Hamoud bin Said al Ma’awali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, informed that the ministry is working with car dealers to ensure 79 per cent of vehicles in Oman are battery powered by 2035.
Addressing Muscat’s traffic congestion, he informed that the ministry has proposals to solve the problem. “Three alternative routes have been identified – Nakhl-Bidbid, Seeb-Bidbid and Amerat-Dima Wa al Taien. Currently we are at the stage of designing the roads.”
He further informed that the cost of constructing new roads, maintenance and repairing roads damaged due to climatic conditions will be more than RO1bn in 2023.
According to the minister, tunnel-based road projects are not viable in Oman. The cost of operating the tunnels on Sharqiyah Expressway ranges between RO30,000 and RO40,000 per month.
He said that the Dibba-Lima-Khasab road will be awarded after completion of technical analysis submitted by five companies before the end of March.
H E Ma’awali added that tenders worth RO230mn were awarded in 2022 and that eight strategic projects will be started and completed this year.
The ministry seeks to enhance import and export through Omani ports by increasing the movement of goods by no less than seven per cent annually, while increasing container traffic five per cent, and improving indicators of the transport and logistics sectors, road quality and efficiency of port services.
“We are working on digitising more than 200 government services, implementing more than five projects for the National Centre for AI and Advanced Technologies, and training more than 2,000 people as part of the ‘Makeen’ initiative to improve digital competencies.”