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Tue 7 Jun 2016 01:46 PM

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Delayed Oman-Saudi highway set to open soon

Road cutting through the Empty Quarter desert has carrier out its first trial operation

Delayed Oman-Saudi highway set to open soon

A highway expected to shorten the distance between Oman and Saudi Arabia by 800km is to open soon after a two-year delay.

The new road, which runs through the Empty Quarter desert, or Rub al Khali, received its first trial operation by the Royal Oman Police (ROP) despite being scheduled to open in 2014, reported Muscat Daily.

Construction work was completed on the project in October 2015 and is currently undergoing border checks.

The delay on the Saudi side was due to extreme weather and the moving sands of Rub al Khali.

The highway on the Oman side is about 160km long, starting from Tanam in Ibri and ending at the Saudi border.

From Saudi Arabia, it stretches 247km from the Omani border to the Shaybah Oil Field and 319km from Shaybah to the Batha-Haradh road, which leads to Riyadh.

Officials will monitor the road for one year following its completion due to its desolate location and poor telecommunications network.

Stakeholders are obliged to provide technical assistance to vehicles along the route because of the area’s volatile weather conditions.

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