Sultan Qaboos Port in Muscat is to stop receiving container, cargo, vehicle carriers and other commercial vessels carrying project material by the end of August next year.

All commercial activities will be moved to Sohar Industrial Port while the Muscat port is turned into a tourism hub, receiving cruise ships and passenger ferries, according Oman’s Transport and Communications Ministry . The port will continue to receive a limited number of vessels, including ships transporting cereal.

The ministry has said all goods stored in the yards and warehouses in Muscat are to be cleared by the end of 2014. Muscat will officially be opened as a tourist destination from the beginning of 2015.

Sohar Port began operations in 2004 and is undergoing several expansions. A new container terminal is being built by Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa. A bulk terminal dedicated to agro-commodities and a liquid jetty is also to be built.