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    Republic of Korea plans to transform Duqm into a smart city

    Duqm is likely to be transformed into a smart city, if plans by the Korean government to aid Oman in developing the city’s infrastructure go forward, a South Korean government official said.

    In an interview with Times of Oman, Son Byeong-Seok, Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) of the Republic of Korea, said that his delegation, made up of high level officials from Korea, is looking to strengthen bilateral ties and develop Omani infrastructure and the transport sector. “We had a meeting with the Duqm authority and heard about their complete plan for development of the city, so we proposed to develop Duqm into a smart city, to become an upgraded version of urban development,” he said.

    Duqm 1

    “We have also invited the head of the authority to Korea to have an in-depth discussion on Duqm as a smart city, and also have working level officials participate in this. Officials from the authority visited Korea two weeks ago to discuss this initiative.”

    Earlier this year, officials from the Special Economic Zone of Duqm (SEZAD) revealed that the port city will not just be an industrial zone, but a modern city that will become an important tourism attraction. The city plans to capitalise on its strategic location between Muscat and Salalah, while also being a major port city in the region.

    Master plan

    The master plan of the city lays out separate sectors to accommodate industrial activities, divided into small, medium and heavy zones, as well as residential and tourism complexes.

    “It is a city under the free-zone entitlement with logistics, industries, residential, commercial and tourism aspects all under one umbrella,” Jalal Al Lawati from SEZAD said.

    Apart from being home to large mineral reserves and an ideal sea port location, Duqm also has significant investment potential in sectors such as fisheries, food and beverages, downstream oil and gas, and the mining industry. SEZAD has invited investors to study these sectors, as “it is a greenfield project and all ideas to invest are accepted.”

    The Korean delegation to Oman includes the President of the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA), the CEO of Korea Land and Housing Corporation and the Executive Director of Korea Expressway Corporation.

    The delegation met officials from the Ministry of Transport and Communication (MoTC) to discuss bilateral cooperation in developing Intelligent Transport Systems, public transport and railway, construction infrastructure and research and development in desalination technologies in the Sultanate.

    “Oman has a geographical importance as the gateway to the Middle East, and Korea shares this, as we have a very good geographical location, too. We share many business cooperation opportunities and wish to build on them.

    We want to also expand our scope of co-operation to industry, culture, training and education,” he said.

    - Times of Oman

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