PEIE, involved in the development and managment of prime industrial estates in Oman, is on a spree to attract industrial investments in the Sultanate.
Oman´s ideal vast location opens a channel of political, economic, and cultural communication with others. The Sultanate´s political and economic stability attracts local and foreign investments and promotes its industries, which increases its economy as well. What´s more, enhancing Oman´s position as a leading regional centre of manufacturing, ICT, innovation and entrepreneurship excellence, is the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE) .
Meeting Vision 2020
PEIE was established in 1993 in the Sultanate of Oman, to ensure continued development of the industrial sector and other related sectors. Following its establishment, the country established a line-up of industrial estates and adopted a set of competitive strategies to attract both domestic and foreign investment, in order to meet the requirements as laid by the government for Vision 2020.
Empowering the Sultanate
Today, PEIE is responsible for developing and managing seven prime industrial estates namely Sur, Sohar, Raysut, Nizwa, Al Buraimi, Al Rusayl, Sumail, in addition to the Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) and Al Mazunah Free Zone.
All PEIE estates are suitable for manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and office space. Moreover, it assists companies in site development, developing buildings, facilitating governmental permissions, as well as helping firms market and promote their products. PEIE seeks to achieve a number of strategic goals in terms of attracting foreign investments to the Sultanate, nationalising national capital, enhancing the private sector to contribute towards achieving sustainable and comprehensive socio-economic development, introducing new technology and availing manpower with technical skills.
PEIE´s mission lies in attracting industrial investments and providing continued support, through regionally and globally competitive strategies, good infrastructure, value-adding services, and easy governmental processes.
Entrepreneurship: PEIE pays major attention to value-adding initiatives, as it has established the National Business Centre (NBC) in the Knowledge Oasis Muscat in 2012, which is recognised as the first government centre in the Sultanate, specialised in incubating and developing SMEs projects. The incubated companies at NBC has generated financial returns estimated at RO 1.3 million. ´Today, 29 companies are incubated in NBC and Riyada, with an occupancy rate exceeding 71 per cent. These companies have succeeded in providing 74 job opportunities,´ notes Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, CEO, PEIE.
Marketing: Significant efforts are being made by PEIE´s Directorate General of Marketing and Media to promote the industrial estates among various segments. ´In 2015, several seminars and workshops were organised to highlight various aspects including branding and marketing; sustainable manufacturing; big data; and technologies for the differently-able people. In addition, a meeting was hosted by PEIE for commercial attachTs´ representatives in the Sultanate, that was aimed at underlining the existing investment opportunities in the various industrial estates, which fall under the umbrella of PEIE in different governorates, and the value-adding services provided by PEIE in collaboration with the government and private bodies in Oman,´ adds Al Hasani.
Origin Oman campaign: Also, in the field of marketing and promoting the locally manufactured products in the country and abroad, PEIE is managing the Origin Oman campaign, which is a national initiative to promote Omani products, in co-operation with various government partners. The campaign organises local and international exhibitions and events, to highlight the capabilities of Omani products to various segments of consumers.
Al Hasani adds, ´PEIE participated in various events including Gulfood 2015 in Dubai, International Embassies Bazaar in Bahrain, Expo Halal in Spain, Omani Companies´ Exhibition in Ahvaz - Iran, SIAL Exhibition in Indonesia, as well as in an exhibition organised as part of cultural and tourism events in Geneva on the occasion of the 45th National Day. Additionally, OPEX 2015 was organised in Jeddah û KSA in cooperation with Public Authority for Investment Promotion and Export Development (Ithraa), and Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI). In the Sultanate, PEIE organised and took part in 15 exhibitions and events to disseminate awareness on the significance of supporting Omani products and its direct contribution to the advancement of the national economy.´
R&D: Moreover, PEIE in co-operation with The Research Council (TRC), initiated the Industrial Innovation Centre in 2010 in the Rusayl Industrial Estate, which aims at assisting industrial progression through research and development (R&D) and improving the national products to increase their competitiveness. Industrial Innovation Centre (IIC), which was established as a government organisation, parented by TRC and PEIE, continues its efforts to develop and assist industrial progression through R&D. On the achievements of IIC, Al Hasani says, ´Since its inception, IIC has organised more than 150 visits to Omani factories throughout the Sultanate´s governorates. Additionally, IIC financed 25 projects, of which 23 have been completed at a total value of RO 1,446,216, where the centre contributed with more than 30 per cent. In addition, the centre has signed several MoUs with various organisations to co-operate in certain areas including the Information Technology Authority and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Besides, the Centre also plays a pivotal role in assisting SMEs in the area of innovation and research.´
Training and innovation: In addition, in the field of training national cadres, PEIE has come-up with the Human Resources Development Centre, which aspires to train the Omani cadres and uplift their efficiency and capabilities in their fields by organising courses, programmes, seminars and workshops. ´Through its Human Resources Development Centre, PEIE continues its efforts to develop its national human cadres in the companies and factories based in the various industrial estates. The centre offers a lineup of management, technical, lectures, and awareness programmes. During the last five years, nearly 2,600 Omani employees benefited from these activities,´ Al Hasani states. Moreover, PEIE has also launched the Communication and Investors Services Centre that aspires to identify the needs of potential and existing investors and provide services to meet these needs. The centre is equipped with cutting-edge tools, and its representatives have been fully trained to offer effective services by way of responding to enquiries and providing information sought from investors and companies pertaining to PEIE and others.
"Concerted efforts required in the industrial sector to diversify income sources."
- Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, CEO, PEIE
Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, CEO, Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), shares more on the organisation´s initiatives and expansion plans.
He says, ´As per the regulations, PEIE will attract local and international developers to develop, establish and operate some of the new industrial estates, expand the existing estates, and provide additional services in the estates that meet the needs and requirements of our investors,´ further adding, ´Since the regulations were announced, the final drafts of the executive regulations have been prepared and will be submitted to the board of directors for approval before it is submitted to the Minister of Commerce and Industry for final approval. Work is also underway to establish investment outlets in the industrial estates in cooperation with concerned government entities.´
On the results of PEIE´s 5th plan accompanying the 8th development plan (2011-2015), Al Hasani comments, ´The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates has been able to attract investments valued more than RO 1,800 million, at a rate of RO 36 million annually. Besides, PEIE has been able to localise 805 projects involved in various investment activities in the various industrial estates, at a rate of 161 projects per year, which bring the cumulative total of the projects to 1,555 by the end of 2015. The localised productive projects have contributed to the creation of 19,973 direct job opportunities, bringing the cumulative number of workforce in the industrial estates to 41,337. Adding to this, more job opportunities will be created through the projects that are currently under implementation (242 projects), and the projects that have been allocated with lands (458 projects), which will commence production in the next three years. It is estimated that these projects will offer more than 33,000 job opportunities.´
PEIE has been able to lease 7.29 million sq m of land for industrial, commercial and service uses, which eventually makes the total area of leased space touch around 32.2 million sq m, at a growth rate of 1.46 million sq m per year. He adds, ´The total area has increased by an additional 11.69 million sq m, which makes the total space touch more than 90.5 million sq m, adding to the area of the new proposed industrial estates in Thumrait, Shinas and Al Mudhaibi. Land allocation for these estates has already been completed by the end of 2015,´ he reveals.
A brief overview of the industrial estates in Oman...
Rusayl industrial estate
Established in 1983, Rusayl is Oman´s flagship industrial estate, situated 45 km from Muscat. Factories in operation produce a wide spectrum of consumer as well as industrial-oriented products, ranging from chemicals, batteries, electrical and building materials, fibre optic cables, foodstuff, textiles, garments, stationery, and paints. As on all PEIE managed-estates, Rusayl provides its tenants with first-class facilities and services; these include factory and office space, electricity, water, gas, telecommunications, sewage treatment, banks, restaurants, post office, etc. Rusayl is also home to offices of the Customs Department and Royal Oman Police. Also located in the estate is the Al Raha Village, whose occupancy rate of the project, in its first phase, has touched 100 per cent. Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, CEO, Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), shares, ´Al Raha Village is a township project with integrated residential, commercial and recreational facilities as well as other related services.´ Further, the village has been designed to provide an integrated solution to the problem of accommodating thousands of workers and technicians who will be mobilised in the coming years. ´This project is located in a strategic site and is being built over a total land plot of about 65,000 sq m. The project is divided into three phases at a total cost of RO 56 million and has a capacity to accommodate more than 11,000 residents. It comprises a full range of integrated facilities and services,´ adds Al Hasani.
Raysut Industrial Estate
Established in November 1992, Raysut Industrial Estate is located in Oman´s southern region of Dhofar. It is four km away from the strategically placed Port of Salalah, the only port between Europe and Singapore that can accommodate the S-class - the world´s largest class of container vessel. It offers easy access to the Gulf, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the east coast of Africa, and is an ideal position for ships sailing between the east coast of the US, Europe and the Far East. Given the port´s development, as well as plans to initiate a free zone, the estate´s popularity with international investors has seen a marked increase. It is home to manufacturers producing a range of products such as school stationery, box files, ice, fish processing, frozen chickens, PVC pipes, steel fabrication, medical supplies, solar heaters, flour, fertilizers and vegetable oil.
Sohar Industrial Estate
Established in 1992, Sohar Industrial Estate is ideally located mid-way between Muscat (200 km) and Dubai (180 km) and it offers tenants easy access to domestic as well as international markets. The estate is located near Sohar Industrial Port, which contributes in facilitating the import and export processes, to and from various countries worldwide. The estate is attracting more investors during the coming period by implementing a number of vital strategic projects, aspiring at enhancing the quality of services provided to the investors. Production on the estate includes marble, paper recycling, foodstuffs, detergents, leather, furniture, toothpaste, beverages, ice cream, resins, glass, steel bars, and engine oil.
Sumail Industrial Estate
Sumail Industrial Estate is located in the wilayat of Sumail in the Al Dakhiliyah governorate, about 45 km away from Muscat International Airport. The establishment of the estate was first announced in 2010, and investors have shown great interest since then. Significant efforts are being made by the management of PEIE to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure projects for the estate. The estate is divided into several sectors - for each sector there is sufficient space for the localisation of a number of industries. It embraces industries such as food, plastic materials, steel, marble, building materials, and warehouses. The strategic location the estate is expected to attract factories that are willing to expand close to the capital, Muscat, and to Rusayl Industrial Estate. Sumail Industrial Estate is an additional value for Al Dakhiliyah governorate which will eventually advance the development of the governorate and contribute towards boosting the national economy.
Sur Industrial Estate
Sur Industrial Estate, established in 1999, is situated in the Al Sharqiyah governorate, 300 km from Muscat, and boasts a deep water harbour. It is strategically located and embraces a line-up of vital projects of support to the national economy. Major tenants on the estate include Oman LNG, the National Gas Company and Oman India Fertiliser Company (OMIFCO). Given the nature and international stature of the estate´s key tenants, Sur is rapidly developing in the area of natural gas and its associated industries and services. Presenting an ideal environment to attract investments, the estate provides excellent infrastructure and facilities for localising industrial projects. Also, the presence of giant projects representing a solid base for economic development and the investment incentives from government institutions, have reflected positively in increasing investors´ interest in the estate.
Al Mazunah Free Zone
Al Mazunah Free Zone, which commenced operations in November 1999, is located in Oman´s southern region of Dhofar, close to the Yemen border. The Free Zone is located 260 km from Salalah (south of Oman), 245 km from Al Gaydah and 500 km from Sayun, the two closest Yemeni cities. Given the nature of the Free Zone, it lies outside the lit of Oman´s tax boundaries, and hence, businesses are able to enter Al Mazunah without a visa or completing border procedures between Oman and Yemen. Indeed, Al Mazunah offers excellent opportunities to those wishing to trade goods through Oman into Yemen, or locate warehouse facilities. To enhance the opportunities of Al Mazunah Free Zone, the government has developed a package of incentives and facilities to encourage investors and facilitate investment process. These include exemption of profits from income tax and unrequired provision of income declaration, exemption from the requirement of a minimum investment, etc. Adding to this, Al Hasani shares, ´There are currently 41 companies operating in Al Mazunah Free Zone. Moreover, the number of vehicles and machinery exported from Al Mazunah Free Zone to Yemen has exceeded 5,300 in 2015, besides another over 1,600 tonne of different goods.´
Nizwa Industrial Estate
Inaugurated in 1994, Nizwa Industrial Estate is located in Oman´s interior, 180 km from Muscat. The estate plays a pivotal role in accelerating industrial development in Oman´s Al Dakhiliyah, Al Wusta and Al Dhahirah governorates. With the recently completed Muscat-Nizwa dual carriageway, the estate offers tenants rapid access to Muscat, the capital´s Muscat International Airport and Sultan Qaboos Port. The estate is home to manufacturers producing ceramics, plastics, medical products, plywood, tea packaging, mineral water, water tanks, ferrous casting, oil services and foodstuffs.
Buraimi Industrial Estate
Established in 1998, Buraimi Industrial Estate is located in the Al Dhahirah governorate in the western part of the Sultanate and occupies a strategic business location on the border with the UAE. Given the estate´s geographical location - easy and rapid access to air and seaports in both Oman and the UAE - it offers tremendous opportunities to tenants wishing to exploit either domestic or and emerging B2C and B2B markets particularly in the Gulf region and Central Asia.
Knowledge Oasis Muscat
Opened in 2003, Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) is the Sultanate of Oman´s flagship technology park. KOM symbolises successful public-private partnership in nurturing knowledge-based businesses. It is committed to creating an environment in which budding entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises and established multi-nationals can coexist, innovate and flourish within a Middle East setting. KOM aims to enhance Oman´s position as the region´s leading centre of business excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship. It provides its tenants with innovative real estate solutions and excellent service. It is strategically placed to offer KOM residents full access to emerging markets in the Middle East, Indian sub-continent and Africa. KOM is the ideal location for businesses starting or expanding in the Middle East.