Oman’s sparsely inhabited coast of fishing villages and Bedouin camps is being transformed into industrial city with port, luxury hotels and housing for 111,000

“Five years ago there was nothing here,” says Hamad Said Al Rawahi as he drives fast along a stretch of freshly paved highway in Oman’s coastal desert. He just picked me up from the side of the road in his shiny black Mercedes. I am hitchhiking – the closest thing to public transport out here.

We are in Duqm, a nascent city about 300 miles (480km) from the capital, Muscat, that was a fishing village prior to 2011, when Oman reimagined it, along with a stretch of uninterrupted coastline and Bedouin camps, as a new special economic zone.

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Read More ‘Five years ago there was nothing’: inside Duqm, the city rising from the sand

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