Oman – Guiding Sustainable Economic Growth

Opportunity

Oman has a geographically strategic location and borders with Saudi Arabia, UAE and Yemen. It is situated on key shipping routes with 3165km of coastline where the Indian Ocean meets the Gulf of Oman. With a population growth of around 3 per cent and an annual GDP growth of 4.4 per cent over the last decade, the country is now placing a greater emphasis on diversification away from a carbon- based economy to one that is knowledge driven and maximises benefit from the country’s unique and beautiful environment.

The Oman National Spatial Strategy (ONSS) project was initiated by the Government of Oman in 2011 with the aim to guide sustainable economic and spatial growth over the next 30 years. Since then, the government has been working on the development of the different components of the project, with the final phases now in progress.

The multi-phase project is developing a comprehensive picture of the country’s current development status and from this strong knowledge base, will create a multi-faceted national strategy capable of guiding the country’s economic and spatial future. To promote community inclusion and ensure that the project is not seen purely as a ‘top-down’ central government approach, the project will consider the views of local communities and prominent local stakeholders to encourage considerable “buy-in” to both the process and the ultimate outputs.

Atkins Acuity was appointed in early 2017 to develop and deliver the National Spatial Strategy, and the management of the Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) consultants looking at the eleven individual Governorates taking part in the project. 

Collaboration 

Atkins Acuity’s key task is the development and delivery of the National Spatial Strategy and the management of the Regional Spatial Strategy consultants looking at the individual Governorates.

Working with key stakeholders, our task will include the following:

  • the creation of a general vision statement guiding development in the Sultanate;
  • institutional assessment of planning-related government entities to further improve spatial development efficiency and effectiveness whilst supporting the implementation of the ONSS;
  • the design and development of new planning policies, processes and procedures to implement the ONSS vision at national, regional and local levels ensuring that these can sustain the country’s development into the future;
  • the design and implementation of a national GIS-based planning information system to be called OPIS (Oman Planning Information System); and
  • the development of a National Transportation Model.

Achievement 

On completion by mid 2019, this project will bring clarity and guidance to future foreign and domestic investment and infrastructure development in Oman. Dr Hilal Al Qamshoey, Project Director, Supreme Council for Planning said:

"When completed, the ONSS will be a game-changer on how Oman will go about its spatial development. The integrated approach for planning will bring whole-of-government to act in a unified approach, and will ensure optimum utilisation of the Sultanate’s resources, while ensuring the delivery of social and economic needs on the right place and at the right time. Together with Atkins, as our main partner in this project, we are looking for the successful delivery of the ONSS within the agreed time frame, and we look for Atkins to bring their best international practice and expertise and to ensure high quality, creativity and innovation in formulating the strategies and plans that will emerge."

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