EFFORTS to establish the first  metro in Muscat, capital of Oman, look set to bear fruit now that the country’s Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT) has invited international consultants to bid for a contract to provide advisory services for the project.

Phase 1 of the tendering process will primarily focus on the pre-feasibility stage of project development and bids for the consultancy contract are due to be opened today (February 1).

It was announced in July 2021 that a metro line for Muscat was being planned to run from Ruwi and Muttrah in the east via the city centre to the airport and Seeb in the west. It was being planned as part of a range of infrastructure projects drawn up under the Oman National Spatial Strategy (ONSS).  

The consultants will be required to support MTCIT in “delivering key decisions” relating to the metro project.

Currently there are no railways in Oman and Muscat’s public transport options are limited to buses, taxis and shared hail and ride vehicles. Advocates of the metro say that it would reduce traffic congestion, increase the city’s appeal to tourists, reduce the carbon footprint of Oman’s public transport and, if powered by electricity or potentially green hydrogen in the future, would contribute to the country’s decarbonisation strategy.

MTCIT has also commissioned a study on behalf of the Muscat Governorate to assess what the social and economic benefits of the project might be. In a television interview, Oman’s minister of transport, communications and information technology, Eng Said bin Hamoud al Maawali, said a team of experts was studying ways of ensuring the planned metro’s long-term viability.

For detailed data on metro projects in the Middle East and around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.