GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Title of Paper:
The diversification through the creation of new cities:Case study of Oman
Paper Proposal Text :
Like most of the oil dependent countries achieving economic diversification away from oil might be difficult. Such phenomena been described and researched by many theories such as the resource curse theory and the rentierism theory. Which highlighted some of the elements that could be the main obstacles those countries might face to reform the economy structure. Those factors are :
the lack of human development
the existence of inefficient government
the existence of rent seeking behaviour
the rentier mentality
Oman was the first country in the region to announce a strategy that included economic diversification as one of the important pillars in it. However, 85% of the Omani government revenues are coming from oil exports. Which reflect the unsuccessful efforts to achieve economic diversification.
In 2007 the Omani government had started an ambitious project to create a new city that will not only be a free zone, dry dock and industrial estate but according to the plan it will be an entirely new city. The first project in the new city (Duqum) was established in 2008 and since then the government had invested more than 2 billion dollar in different projects however, there are some major challenges for the successful establishment of the city.

In this paper I will try to give an overview of Oman diversification efforts, the enhancement of the current cities to be able to provide work opportunities for the growing young population and will highlight the important of the new created city for the Omani economy and what are the major challenges to achieve that goal whether it is the lack of the critical mass, the local population human resource development and the impact in the local social environment.