MUSCAT: The opening of the new airports and ports in regional centres shows that the sultanate is growing. The new Salalah Airport that opened recently has strengthened the logistics industry and has helped boost tourism.

According to statistics by the National Centre for Statistics and Information from June 21 to August 11 this year, 393,312 tourists visited Salalah, registering an increase of 44.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The opening of the Duqm Airport last Renaissance Day and Sohar Airport on the National Day same year also is a big achievement for the sultanate. Meanwhile, the sultanate will soon see a fifth airport at Ras al Hadd. The airport aims to support ecotourism projects. The Muscat International Airport is also undergoing major expansion.

These projects show that Oman has committed itself to building airports in all its important centres. These airports will help develop Oman’s logistics sector, which has been identified as one of its future areas of economic growth.

Airports play an important role in this. The regional airports should also work to promote development outside Muscat. Sohar, Duqm and Salalah have been identified as Oman’s cities of the future. Airports act like a catalyst as they help in easing the movement of people and goods, which will help these cities develop their trade, industry and tourism.

The development of ports in Sohar, Duqm and Salalah are also a mark of development. Work on the railway project is also in progress.