Oman: making the most of a prime location

Oman: making the most of a prime location

The sultanate has every reason to be deeply anxious about the actual and potential conflicts on its northern and southern borders, but it also has an opportunity to turn this situation to its advantage. This has been evident in the recent flurry of activity for projects aimed at developing ports and industrial areas on the country’s Arabian Sea coast into bunkering centres for international shipping and major producers of refined petroleum products and petrochemicals.

Gulf ports lie between lofty ambitions and harsh realities

Gulf ports lie between lofty ambitions and harsh realities

Recent news on ports and shipping in the Gulf has offered some stark contrasts. On the one hand, a landmark reached in Qatar’s project to equip Doha port to receive giant cruise ships, and the announcement of a slew of deals for Chinese companies to invest in projects serving ports in the UAE and Saudi Arabia; on the other, a further downturn in container traffic at Dubai’s Jebel Ali and Mina Rashid ports – and the ramping up of tensions in the Strait of Hormuz with Iran’s seizure of a UK-flagged tanker on its way to pick a cargo of petrochemicals in Saudi Arabia.