Muscat Metro rail survey to begin this month

Oman Sunday 06/March/2022 22:45 PM
By: Times News Service
Muscat Metro rail survey to  begin this month
The metro will run from the Wilayat of Seeb to Ruwi in the Wilayat of Muttrah, passing through several wilayats of the capital.

Muscat: A feasibility study for a metro rail network in Muscat Governorate will begin this month.

According to Eng. Ibrahim bin Hamood Al Waili, the director of the Office of the Follow Up Unit for the Implementation Plan for the National Urban Development Strategy at the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MOHUP), “It is likely that by 2040, the population of Oman will reach about 7.5 million. Based on estimates under the urban development strategy, there will be about one million people in Muscat Governorate. From this point of view, it is important that we diversify the means of transportation. This includes a metro network, which will serve as an alternate means of transportation for people.”

The feasibility study for the metro project will begin this month, he added, and will run for 12 months, after which the routes for the metro will be determined.

“The metro will run from the Wilayat of Seeb to Ruwi in the Wilayat of Muttrah, passing through several wilayats of the capital,” he added.

“The structural plan for the metro will include the urban plan of the city, and how that will affect the metro route. Following this study, we will also be able to decide whether the metro will be built above ground or underground.”

The committee charged with the feasibility study is headed by Khamis Al Shammakhi, Undersecretary of Transport at the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT). This committee will decide how the metro will be built and also look into its economic feasibility.

Greater Muscat plans
The metro’s arrival comes as part of the plans for Greater Muscat, a capital city that will have top-of-the-range facilities, good accessibility, excellent infrastructure and easily accessible transport. “The most important portion of the restructuring project is Wilayat of Seeb, as we believe most of the people living in Muscat will be based there,” explained Al Waili.

The urban strategy is a spatial map of business trends that are focused on development based on various aspects and capabilities of the 11 governorates of Oman. Muscat, Salalah, Nizwa and Sohar have been earmarked as the major future cities of the country. They represent the first real launch of the National Urban Development Strategy.

“These strategic programmes will be carried out all over the regions of Oman, with the aim of giving them a competitive advantage, based on the resources of each governorate,” said Al Waili. “For example, in terms of civilisation and cultural heritage, Al Dakhiliyah will be a centre for innovation because we have a number of universities located there, and it is one of the main centres of knowledge in Oman.”

Likewise, South Al Sharqiyah will have a blue economy, owing to its relationship and legacy with the sea.
Al Wusta, on the other hand, because of its vast size, will have projects relating to solar, wind and renewable energy.

“Sessions were held with each governor to explain the development plans for each governorate,” said Al Waili.

“The last discussion we had was with the governor of Musandam, while in mid-March, we will be meeting with the governor of Dhofar. In less than six months, we sat down with all the governors to explain the development mechanisms and the support offered to manage the related projects.”