The project will be divided into two phases; stage one encompasses a 114km section from a junction with phase one at Haifait to Ibri, and stage two is a 126km link from Ibri to Fahoud in the Al Dhahirah Governorate economic zone.

In addition, Oman Rail and the Port of Al Duqm, a joint venture of Consortium Antwerp Port and the Omani government, have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a railfreight corridor and logistics facilities at the port in southern Oman, which would form part of the third phase of Oman Rail's 2135km network development programme.

Phase one of the project encompasses the 207km link from Al Buraimi on the border with the UAE to the Port of Sohar, which forms part of the GCC network. Five bidders were shortlisted for the civil works contract in May while eight have submitted bids for an operations and maintenance tender.

Oman Rail recently prequalified more than a dozen groups from Spain, Italy, China, Turkey, Korea, Germany and France for construction contracts for the next three phases of the network which cover more than 1200km from Hafeet on the border with the UAE to Salalah in the far south of the country. A number of Omani companies are also part of the groups vying for the contracts, while 12 groups have been prequalified for the 93km mountainous segment from Thumrait to Salalah Port, which will require extensive tunnelling and construction of high viaducts.

Oman Map1