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Oman-Saudi road-link likely to open by end of 2013

A road-link project between Oman and Saudi Arabia is expected to be completed by the end of 2013

According to officials, the proposed road will facilitate trade between Saudi Arabia and Oman and also pave the way for the economic development of Dhahirah region, Muscat Daily reported.

The road passes through the Empty Quarter, one of the biggest sand deserts in the world.

Oman and Saudi Arabia are currently connected via the UAE for trade.

"Through this conference, we are asking the government to build dry ports in the Ibri governorate, since most of the traffic and cargo will pass through the Empty Quarter once the road is opened," said Khalil al Khonji, chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI).

"The Saudi section of the road has been delayed because of the soft soil and associated incremental project costs. The Oman section has reached completion and we hope to open the link by the end of this year."

The Saudi portion of the project consists of a link from the Khorais-Bathaa Road to the Oman border, via Shayba and Umm Zamoul.

Abdulrhman al Rashed, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Oman, said, "We are working to overcome the hurdle and the road is expected to be completed in the next five months."