When His Majesty Sultan Qaboos ascended to the throne in 1970, the country lacked basic infrastructure including a modern port, roads, schools, electricity outside the capital area, and even space for the government to function. Thanks to the blessed renaissance that included several national policy initiatives, the late Sultan ensured that all the governorates in Oman — from north to south, east to west — are road linked, offering a boost to the development process.
In his speech on the occasion of Oman’s first National Day in 1971, the late Sultan said, “The plan is to build our country and provide all its people with a prosperous life. That will be achieved only when the people share the burden of responsibility and help with the task of building.”
In the subsequent years, His Majesty the Sultan ensured there is a road in every corner of the country, regardless of the population density. He realised that road infrastructure is the key to diversification of the economy — tourism, mining, industry and other commercial activities.
Today Oman is ranked in the top ten among countries that have the best road networks. This is nothing sort of a miracle for a nation that had just 10 km of paved roads at the start of the blessed renaissance in 1970.
Given the mountainous and the geographical terrain, developing a network of roads across the breadth and length of the country can be done only by a brilliant leader with a vision for the future.
Building so many roads to isolated villages has been a feat of engineering and it has really helped the entire population feel connected and united.
According to the World Bank classification, Oman is a high average income country, and it falls under the category of countries with a considerably high human development as per the United Nations. Oman has three showpiece motorways — Muscat Expressway, Batinah Expressway, and the soon-to-be-opened Sharqiyah Expressway.
Not to forget that the Qantab and Yeti roads in Muscat, Wadi Adei-Amerat road, Bausher-Amerat, Muscat-Sur coastal road, New Nizwa road, and the Adam-Thamrait road is engineering marvels in their right. Even the narrow and overworked four-lane Sultan Qaboos Street-Batinah Highway that leads to the UAE Border is rated among the best in the emerging markets.
According to the Global Competitive Index of the World Economic Forum, the road network in Oman was ranked 14th in 2018 that improved to 10 in 2019. The road connectivity is ranked 15th in the list of 100.
Muscat Expressway is a major highway in the capital of Oman and runs parallel to Sultan Qaboos Street (the major trunk road). The 54 km that runs away from the coasts was opened during the 2007-2009 period.
The Batinah Expressway is a 256 km 8-lane that connects the Muscat Expressway and extends to the UAE border. Batinah Expressway has been one of the largest road infrastructure projects that include 1,106 concrete channels, 25 bridges crossing wadis and 17 overhead bridges. The Expressway has four lanes in each direction was completed in a time span of six years.
The 250-km Sharqiyah Expressway that passes through the governorates of North and South Al Sharqiyah is one of the major roads linking with the capital.
Whether you are heading out on the Ultimate Oman Road Trip or simply taking day trips from the capital city of Muscat, you won’t want to miss this beautiful and diverse Muscat-Sur coastal road.
Located in Al Sharqiyah, the southeastern region of the Arabian Peninsula, the Muscat-Sur coastal road offers visitors a glimpse of old and new Oman