Oman’s Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technology (MTCIT) has invited bids from leading construction firms and contractors for the development and operation of two major ports in the north of the sultanate, reported Oman Observer.

The ministry called upon interested parties for a concessionary agreement to develop and operate the Port of Khasab in Musandam Governorate and Port of Shinas in North Al Batinah Governorate. The term of the concession period will be mutually agreed upon based on an investment basis, it stated.

Both ports are involved in domestic and international trade, equipped with basic infrastructure and offices for concerned government agencies.

Khasab Port, in particular, is a major draw for cruise liners, having attracted as many as 66 passenger ships in 2016 carrying over 35,500 tourists. The port is tipped to be transformed into a waterfront and leisure destination replicating the ambitious plan that Omran – the government’s tourism investment and development arm – envisions for Port Sultan Qaboos in Muscat.

Shinas, on the other hand, has a jetty that primarily caters to fishing boats and dhows. Plans for the development of the facility include potential investments in tourism, leisure and commercial components, the newspaper stated in an earlier report.