The Outer

The fish wealth in the Sultanate of Oman is a promising field for attracting investments and investors

By Manal Abdel Fattah

The Sultanate of Oman continues to enhance growth prospects in the fisheries sector by expanding the development of the fishing system, which includes developing existing ports and establishing new ones, with the use of modern fishing ships and fleets, and advanced logistical services in the sector through new facilities in marine fishing ports and supporting and developing transportation operations and chains. Refrigeration, with great development in marketing and selling mechanisms through modern markets and electronic marketing platforms for fish products.

The Sultanate of Oman is adopting a relentless approach towards accelerating the achievement of its development goals, especially with regard to supporting economic diversification sectors. Therefore, the focus is on attracting private investments to the fisheries sector and other diversification sectors and enabling Omani and international investors to seize promising opportunities in the field of developing the fisheries industry sector and its related activities.

In light of these developments, the attractiveness of the sector to investors is increasing, especially with the continued offering of tenders and new investment opportunities, including the development, management and establishment of fishing ports and fish markets and the exploration of fishery resources in the Sultanate of Oman. Fish farming activities and commercial projects in the sector are also witnessing a significant expansion, as there is a presence in the Sultanate. Oman currently has 28 integrated farms and 16 commercial projects, and important projects are constantly joining the sector, the most recent of which was the shrimp farming farm in the Al Khuwaymah area in the Wilayat of Jalan Bani Bu Ali in the South Al Sharqiyah Governorate, which was recently opened and has an area of ​​two million square meters with an investment value of 16 million Omani Riyals.

During the year 2023, a number of new tenders were offered to local and international companies that promote growth in the fisheries sector, the most important of which is the tender to survey and explore fish resources in the Arabian Sea and the Sea of ​​Oman, which paves the way for further exploitation of natural resources and preservation of fish stocks. It is scheduled to begin submitting bids. The tender will be held during the last week of next January. Two tenders were also issued during this year to establish a fishing port in the Wilayat of Mahout in the Al Wusta Governorate and a multi-purpose port in the Wilayat of Masirah.

During the recent period, the Ministry of Agricultural Wealth, Fisheries and Water Resources, in cooperation with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, offered 25 new opportunities, including 13 investment opportunities in a development platform, in addition to offering 12 direct opportunities to establish, manage and operate fish markets and landing centers in various governorates of the Sultanate of Oman, with an investment value estimated at 9 million Omani riyals to attract and participate with the private sector in these investment and service projects.

The fishing port in Duqm is the most important strategic project in the sector, and it is the largest commercial fishing port in the Sultanate of Oman. Its role will be pivotal in supporting and developing research and innovation and localizing the value-added chain for fishery products in light of ambitious plans to transform the port into a smart, sustainable city in global supply chains.

The port extends over an area of ​​7.5 square kilometers, and includes advanced facilities such as two main and secondary breakwaters. The depth of the fishing port is 10 meters, which allows it to receive commercial fishing vessels. While the port is located near the fish industries area, this integration with the fish industries area makes the fishing port in Duqm an important driver. It is important for growth in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm, which attracts increasing investments in all fields, including local and international companies specialized in fishing and related fish industries.

The establishment of the multi-purpose port in Masirah comes in implementation of the directives of Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, approving the implementation of a number of additional development projects in addition to the projects approved in the tenth five-year plan 2021-2025, including the establishment of a multi-purpose port in the Wilayat of Masirah in the South Al Sharqiyah Governorate. The port project consists of the Wilayat of Masirah. Masirah includes multiple facilities to serve the fisheries sector, facilities for the tourism sector and transportation operations, in addition to government and private service facilities. The port is located on an area of ​​about 240 thousand square meters.

The fisheries sector is included among the basic sectors targeted to enhance economic diversification and food security in the Sultanate of Oman. This sector also bears special importance as fishing is an ancient craft that has been passed down through generations in the Sultanate of Oman and represents an important component of the national identity. More than 57,000 Omanis currently work in the fishing sector. Positive developments in this sector contribute to increasing its attractiveness to citizens, whether through working in the sector or establishing new projects.

At current prices, the added value of fishing activities recorded a contribution of about 390 million Omani riyals to the gross domestic product of the Sultanate of Oman during the past year, and about 267 million Omani riyals during the first three quarters of 2023, which represents a growth of 6 percent compared to the same period last year.

By the end of last year, the volume of fish production reached 748 thousand tons, and exports reached 248 thousand tons. Fish production achieved good growth this year by nearly 10 percent at the end of last November compared to the same month in 2022.

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