Saudi Arabia, Oman Open Al-Rube Al-Khali crossing border

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Nayef and his Omani counterpart Hammoud al-Busaidi inspected (Monday) Al-rube Al-khali border crossing between the two countries, which was opened during the visit of Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Defense of Saudi Arabia Sultanate of Oman, last December.

During the inspection tour, the two ministers inspected the service facilities at the port and reviewed the work procedures in it, and the working mechanism of the concerned authorities.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud and Hammoud Al Busaidi watched a visual presentation on the projects implemented by the Saudi Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority at the port, and the most prominent statistics that have been achieved since its operation.

The Al-rube Al-khali or Ramlet Khayla or Umm al-Zamoul Port is a land bridge and border port that connects the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman directly, across the Al-rube Al-khali desert.

It is administratively affiliated to the Al-Ahsa Governorate in the Eastern Province of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its length is 564 km, and it is the only outlet that shortens the distance between the two countries.

Traveling between the two countries previously required passing through the UAE first. The border crossing between the two countries was inaugurated in 2006, and it connects the Al-Ahsa Governorate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Al-Dhahirah Governorate in the Sultanate of Oman. The port is located in the heart of the Al-rube Al-khali desert.

In 2006, the two countries agreed to establish a border port between the two countries, and this port is called from the Omani side as “Ramlet Khayla port” and from the Saudi side as the Al-rube Al-khali port.

The land bridge starts from Haradh in Saudi territory, continues towards the Shaybah oil field, with a length of 319 km, and then heads towards the new border crossing with the Sultanate of Oman with a length of 247 km, thus shortening the 800 km distance that travelers used to travel between the two countries.

The total cost of the border port project between the Kingdom and Oman is about 950 million riyals ($250 million).

 The high cost of the project is because the road passes through the Al-rube Al-khali desert, which is a desert area covered with enormous dunes, which made the construction of the road more difficult, as the amount of dunes that were lifted and removed is estimated at 130 million cubic meters, equivalent to 26 pyramids of large size.

The Al-rube Al-khali crossing is the only land port that connects directly between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate of Oman through the Empty Quarter desert.

 The highway extends through the Al-rube Al-khali with a road length of 680 km, shortening nearly 800 km, starting from Haradh Al Batha Road and continuing towards Shaybah field.

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