This came in a press statement released by the Transport and Communications Ministry and the Tourism Ministry. It said in co-ordination with respective public and private departments, the two ministries will develop a master plan and detailed designs for the tourism port and its associated services and utilities, as well as the construction and implementation documents for the port projects.
The Oman Daily Observer was the first paper to announce the news in an article published in its Business section on March 23, 2010. There will be co-ordination with the respective departments about the mechanism of transferring all commercial operations to Sohar Port. This will ensure non-conflict with the existing concession agreement for the management and operation of Port Sultan Qaboos, said the statement.
The statement indicated that an elaborate study will be conducted to identify the manner in which Port Sultan Qaboos will be managed as a tourism port to diversify activities of the port sector. Commercial and tourist ports have major strategic importance in sustainable development as they actively contribute to the economic development of the state.
The government decides on the best ways to introduce commercial and industrial activities like tourism ports in a bid to diversify the ports sector and to make the Sultanate a destination for tourism from different parts of the world.