Sohar Port and Freezone experienced impressive growth in all key areas, including its port operations and freezone investments during the last year, continuing to be an engine of Oman’s economic transformation.
The freezone received $366 million new investments in 2022 with the total investments reaching $27 billion.
Senior management recently presented the 2022 results and Sohar's plans for the coming year and beyond at the company's Annual Business Reception at The Chedi Muscat.
The company said it is seeking new opportunities in green and renewable energy and recycling.
Compared to 2021, throughput increased by 11.3% year on year, reaching 77 million tons. Dry Bulk and Liquid Bulk increased by 9.6% and 25%, respectively. Vessel calls enjoyed a slight increase to 3,192 while containers remained steady at 725,000 TEU.
This success is mirrored within the freezone where total investment grew by 17%; land occupancy grew 3.5% to 77%; and 14 new contracts were awarded.
Fifty-two countries are now represented within the freezone, an increase of three from 2021 as Sohar Freezone cements its position as an engine of economic diversification.
In addition, Q1 2023, two land lease agreements were signed in the freezone, which highlights its competitiveness and ability to attract more investors.
Emile Hoogsteden, CEO of Sohar Port and Freezone, said: “Progress in key areas throughout Sohar Port and Freezone is extremely positive and proof that the initiatives we have put in place are delivering results. Our long-term goal is for Sohar to become an integrated industrial, logistics and port complex that hosts complete value chains in manufacturing, food production and energy. By exploring investment and attracting key anchor tenants in diverse and new sectors, including green and renewable energy as well as a recycling cluster, we will make the Port and Freezone more efficient and environmentally fit-for-the-future as well as a regional hub for many of Oman’s major national industries”.
Omar Mahmood Al Mahrizi, CEO of Sohar Freezone and Deputy CEO of Sohar Port, said: “The solid growth in all performance indicators shows that the business ecosystem created in Sohar fosters trust and confidence, which is reflected in the numerous expansion projects by current tenants. Our commitment for creating a business-friendly environment has been instrumental by the launch of different innovative solution and today we witnessed a new platform “GeoHub”, which integrates seamlessly with the existing systems to create a centralised data portal for all users”.
GeoHub Application, a digital platform that includes many services -- but not limited to -- create a drawing directly from the site by using easy and accessible tools, especially designed to meet the requirements of all users. They can also receive updated data related to utilities, lands, vessel calls, air quality system, as well as the ongoing projects.
Sohar also continued its commitment to the local community through engaging activities focusing on education, environment, health, well-being, people with disabilities or special needs, as well as those in need and the youth. Moreover, a number of the other community-focused projects in 2022 are expected to add long-term value to the local economy, including collaborating with the Oman Fishermen Association, supporting people with disabilities and special needs by helping to raise funds for the construction of a building for the Association of Early Intervention for Children with Disability and donating several Perkins Braille Writers to the Al-Khattab Institute for the Blind.
Sohar helped prepare the site of Sohar Festival by providing the opportunity for over 50 small and medium-sized businesses to showcase their products. In addition, continuing to champion women, while acknowledging their contribution to Oman’s renewed renaissance, Sohar collaborated with Sidrah Youth Leadership Program for Omani women.
The first-of-its-kind initiative aims to support Omani women between the ages of 18 and 25 years old in developing self-awareness, resilience, collaboration and leadership skills.