Road will reduce the distance between the two countries by 800km
Saudi Arabian residents will be able to drive straight to Oman by the end of this year, when a new 592-km road linking the two GCC states is completed, government officials have said.
The new road will cost $5.3bn and will reduce the distance between the two countries from 2,000 km to 1,200 km.
The landmark project passes through the Empty Quarter — one of the largest deserts in the world. It will facilitate transport of Haj pilgrims, tourists and goods.
“The Saudi-Oman road link is expected to be completed by the end of 2013,” said Khalil Al-Khonji, chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The project, which was due to open in 2012, has been delayed due to the nature of the soil, he pointed out.
“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,” Muscat Daily quoted Al-Khonji.
The road will boost trade and tourism between the two GCC neighbours and ensure quick delivery of products. At present, a truck takes three to four days to reach Muscat from Jeddah. The new road will reduce that period to one day or a maximum of two days.