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S Batinah embarks on development path in line with Oman Vision 2040

14 Nov 2023 South Batinah embarks on development path in line with Oman Vision 2040 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – South Batinah is commencing a series of vital and strategic projects in its efforts to achieve comprehensive development. These initiatives align with the decentralisation and sustainable development goals outlined in Oman Vision 2040.

The governorate is witnessing a surge in development and service projects across various sectors, including education, health and transport infrastructure. Additionally, its rich tourism potential, stemming from diverse natural landscapes, including coasts, mountains, springs, valleys and caves, is being harnessed. South Batinah’s unique heritage, witnessed in its castles, forts, traditional markets and archaeological sites, further enhances its appeal.

One of the flagship projects is the Rimal Park in Khubbat al Qadan, wilayat of Nakhal. This project is set to significantly boost tourism in the region. Efforts are underway to develop key tourist attractions, including Rustaq Gate, the Ain al Kasfa project and various sites in the niyabat of Hoqain. Waterfront areas in the wilayats of Barka and Musannah are also being developed.

In addition to tourism, the governorate is focusing on revitalising traditional markets and constructing modern markets with contemporary designs. Development projects are in progress at the Abu Tamania market in Rustaq, Al Turaif market in Musannah and the Nakhal market. New markets are also being established in the wilayats of Al Awabi and Wadi al Ma’awil.

Masoud bin Saeed al Hashemi, Governor of South Batinah, highlighted upcoming projects of 2024, including the design and paving of internal roads totalling 150km, a new roundabout at the entrance to Wadi Bani Kharous, and the construction of box culverts over wadis in Rustaq and Al Awabi. Efforts to develop the entrances and centres of the governorate’s wilayats are also underway, alongside establishment of new slaughterhouses in Rustaq and Wadi al Ma’awil.

The governorate is also focusing on community involvement in project proposals and designs, including enhancing spending efficiency, digital transformation and developing human competencies, particularly the youth sector. An electronic portal for the governorate is being developed to improve access to services and information.

The municipal sector is making significant strides in enhancing services and creating a sustainable environment. This involves studying, planning, designing and implementing development projects. Efforts are also directed towards improving efficiency and effectiveness of services, better regulation of food establishments and managing public property.

The governorate is actively working to attract investments by increasing contracts awarded to small and medium enterprises and offering sites for private sector investment. This initiative includes hosting forums and promoting investment opportunities on social media platforms.

On the economic front, South Batinah is home to Khazaen Economic City in Barka, which has attracted substantial investment. The city includes the Khazaen Land Port, the first of its kind in Oman, and the Khazaen Central Fruit and Vegetable Market, which is nearing completion. Additionally, Sandan Industrial City in Nakhal is a model for integrated industrial cities, providing comprehensive service facilities for investors.

The number of entrepreneurs registered with the Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development in the governorate is steadily increasing, with Barka leading in the number of registered institutions. Oman Development Bank has also granted a significant number of loans for various projects in the region.

The governorate’s housing and urban planning sector is implementing a comprehensive programme, identifying land for investment along the Batinah coastal road. Projects include parks, markets and smart gas stations. The programme also focuses on providing land for agricultural projects to enhance food security.

The governorate boasts numerous castles and forts, with ongoing restoration efforts to preserve these historical landmarks. The number of licensed tourist establishments continues to grow, reflecting the governorate’s tourism potential.

In healthcare, the Directorate General of Health Services in South Batinah is implementing projects to raise the quality of health services. These include expanding health centres and introducing state-of-the-art medical procedures.

On the environmental front, Environment Authority is working on conservation and biodiversity preservation programmes, including a national initiative to plant 10mn indigenous trees in a ten-year period.

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