Oman’s Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones (OPAZ) has awarded an advisory services tender for the first phase of the Integrated Economic Zone at Al Dhahirah governorate (EZAD).  

A consortium of an Omani and a Saudi company secured the tender for the design and supervision of the first phase’s infrastructural facilities.  

OPAZ engineer Yahya bin Khamis Al Zadjali said: “The tender works also include the detailed design of the infrastructure facilities, the preparation of the documents for the tender of the construction works, and the supervision of the implementation of the works, the completion of the project, operation and delivery.  

“The tender also includes supervision of a number of key components such as the land port, road, electricity and telecommunications networks, water, irrigation and sewage networks, gas network, solid waste management, administrative buildings, and horticulture works.” 

In September 2023, the OPAZ invited interested companies in Oman and Saudi Arabia to bid for the project.

The authority then completed its thorough analysis and plans for the EZAD and finalised the initial phase of the comprehensive plan for its construction. 

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The Omani Ministry of Finance and the Saudi Fund for Development signed a memorandum of understanding to finance the infrastructure construction project for EZAD in January last year.  

The first phase of the EZAD project is estimated to cost around OR122m ($316.93m) and spans 20km². 

The 6.5km² land port plan will be implemented in a preliminary phase, with Asyad Group taking charge of its management and operation.  

The remaining land is earmarked for future expansions to accommodate the growing land requirements of various economic sectors. 

Al Zadjali noted that the development of the EZAD was driven by objectives aimed at capitalising on its border location with Saudi Arabia. 

The initiative is set to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries, support development projects and economic diversification efforts, and open up new markets for the Omani and Gulf economies. 

The EZAD is approximately 20km from the Rub’ al-Khali border crossing with Saudi Arabia and is 100km from the Ibri Industrial City project.