|Region||Al Wusta Region (Oman)|
Duqm (Arabic: الدقم) is a port town on the Arabian Sea, in central-eastern Oman. The town is currently experiencing significant development, growing from about 5100 in 2008 to over 11,200 people in 2010, and the Oman Tourism Development Company is looking to develop it into a resort, aiming to increase its population to 100,000 by 2020.
History and economy
Duqm was a small fishing settlement of the Janubah tribe on the coast of southern Oman, when a party of soldiers of the Muscat and Oman Field Force and geologists of Petroleum Development Oman landed in February 1954 to begin the modern oil exploration of central Oman.
Today it is an industrial oil town with a notable port, and the town has been looking to increase tourism in the area with the Oman Tourism Development Company, and is now central to the state's development goals, with a 25-year plan formulated in 1995 to increase its population to 100,000 by 2020. The port has undergone development and a shipbuilding facility to facilitate the port was built; development has been ongoing by the Jan De Nul Group, improving the breakwaters and quay walls. In March 2005, Oman's Ministry of Transport and Communications awarded the Parsons Corporation a contract to study and design a new Duqm Jaaluni Airport in hopes of increasing tourism. The airport is expected to be operational by 2014. In 2008, Intercontinental Hotels announced they were to build a 213-room hotel - Crowne Plaza Duqm. A coal-fired power plant has also been approved in Duqm with the aim of reducing dependency on natural gas, and Oman has formed a $2 billion deal with the South Koreans to facilitate it.
According to The Economist, "If Duqm took off, sleepy Oman might—say the planners—challenge nearby Dubai’s dominance as the region’s trading hub" with a geographically favourable location that links to Asia, Europe and Arabia, that also avoids the tensions of the nearby Persian Gulf.
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