Infrastructure: Sudan has a developed infrastructure comparable to most of Sub-Saharan Africa
and many projects are taking place to develop it even further all across the country. Some parts of the country are better off—mainly in the northern states—due to oil productions and the wealth gained from it. The telephone system in Sudan is well equipped by regional standards, and is maintained by modern standards. One of Sudan's greatest projects was the Merowe Dam.
Khartoum was rewarded the Arab Capital of Culture in 2005. Modern buildings in Khartoum are on the rise due to the economic growth. However, since South Sudan independence a number of projects have been postponed due to economic recession after losing 75% of the oil. Transit fees of south Sudan will likely cut the loss greatly and the government economic emergency plan will end in 2015 bringing the economy back on track and after that, the economy will start developing rapidly with construction booms.
Khartoum has one of the largest open markets in the region, the Souq Al Arabi. The market is spread over several blocks in the center of Khartoum proper just south of the Great Mosque (Mesjid al-Kabir) and the minibus station. It is divided into separate sections, including one focused entirely on gold. al Qasr Street and Al Jamhoriyah Street are considered the most famous high streets in Khartoum State.
In 2010, Sudan's first medium scale shopping mall opened, located in the southern suburb Arkeweet. The Afra Mall has a supermarket, retail outlets, coffee shops, a bowling alley, movie theaters, and a children's playground. In 2011, Sudan opened the Hotel Section and part of the food court of the new, Cornithia hotel Tower.
Sudan has 4,725 kilometers of narrow-gauge, single-track railroads that serve the northern and central portions of the country. The main line runs from Wadi Halfa on the Egyptian border to Khartoum and southwest to Al Ubayyid via Sannar and Kusti, with extensions to Nyala in Southern Darfur.
Other lines connect Atbarah and Sannar with Port Sudan, and Sannar with Ad Damazin. A 1,400-kilometer line serves the al Gezira cotton-growing region. A modest effort to upgrade rail transport is currently underway to reverse decades of neglect and declining efficiency. Service on some lines may be interrupted during the rainy season.
Sudan is one of the largest Arab nations. It is rich in history dating back to the Ancient Egyptians and the Ancient Nubians. There are many pyramids all over Sudan, attracting many tourists from Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and other Arab countries, as well as tourists from Western nations. Sudan was voted the 8th most popular Arab nation to visit by the Council of Arab Economic Unity. Sudan also has many modern hotels including the five stars Corinthia Hotel Khartoum in Khartoum. The government of Sudan also pledges $1 billion a year to increase the tourist industry.
Agricultural products in total account for about 95 percent of the country's exports. In 1998 there was an estimated 16.9 million hectares (41.8 million acres) of arable land and approximately 1.9 million hectares (4.7 million acres) set aside for irrigation, primarily in the north of the country along the banks of the Nile and other rivers.
Cash crops grown under irrigation in these areas include cotton and cottonseed, which is of primary importance to the economy with 172,000 tons and 131,000 tons produced annually respectively, sesame (220,000 tons), sugarcane (5,950,000 tons), peanuts (980,000 tons), dates (176,000 tons), citrus fruits, yams (136,000 tons), tomatoes (240,000 tons), mangoes, coffee, and tobacco. The main subsistence crops produced in Sudan are sorghum (3,045,000 tons), millet (1,499,000 tons), wheat (168,000 tons), cowpeas, beans, pulses, corn (65,000), and barley. Cotton is the principal export crop and an integral part of the country's economy and Sudan is the world's third largest producer of sesame after India and China.
Sudan’s rapid industrial development consists of agricultural processing, electronics assembly, plastics manufacturing, furniture, tanning, sugar production, meat processing and various light industries located in any of the 10 Industrial areas in Khartoum. due to the many countries depending on Sudan for medicines and medical services, Sudan is now concentrating on becoming a hub for the medical industry in East Africa, providing facilities and concessions for medical investments and succeeding in covering about 70% of needs and exporting to many neighboring nations. In recent years, the Giad Industrial Complex in Al Jazirah state introduced the assembly of small autos and trucks, and some heavy military equipment such as armored personnel carriers and the “Bashir” and "Zubair" main battle tanks as well as handguns, light and heavy machineguns and howitzers and, recently, drone production. Sudan is reputed to have great mineral resources, and exploration has started extensively for gold, of which is produced nearly 30 tons annually providing a great boost to the foreign exchange reserves of the nation, with the participation of many investment companies from all over the world. Quantities of asbestos, chromium, mica, kaolin and copper are now exploited commercially, especially for export to China.
Sudan is seeking to expand its installed capacity of electrical generation of around 300MW; of which 180 MW is hydroelectric and the rest thermal. European investors, considering the continuing U.S. economic, trade, and financial sanctions regime, are the most likely providers of technology for this purpose.
More than 70% of Sudan’s hydropower comes from the Roseires Dam on the Blue Nile grid. Various projects are proposed to expand hydropower, thermal generation, and other sources of energy, but so far the government has had difficulty arranging sufficient financing. A new dam which is being established in Merowe has been opened in 2008 and generates 1250 MW of electricity.
Extensive petroleum exploration first began in Sudan in the mid-1970s. Significant finds were made in the Upper Nile region and commercial quantities of oil began to be exported in October 2000, reducing Sudan’s outflow of foreign exchange for imported petroleum products. Today, oil is an important export industry in Sudan. Estimates suggest that oil accounts for between 70% and 90% of Sudan's total exports. The primary importers of Sudanese oil are Japan, China, South Korea, Indonesia, and India.
Crude oil from the Muglad Basin is known as "Nile Blend" and is refined at the Khartoum crude oil refinery. In 2006, the China National Petroleum Corporation upgraded the Khartoum refinery, doubling its capacity to 100,000 barrels per day (16,000 m3/d). Oil from the Melud Basin is known as "Dar Blend" and is refined at the Port Sudan Refinery, which has a capacity of 21,700 barrels per day (3,450 m3/d). In 2005, the Sudanese government contracted Petronas to build a new refinery at Port Sudan.
Sudan's crude oil output is predicted to peak in 2008, although current revenue levels may be sustained for a decade or more.
In September 2012, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir opened the country’s first gold refinery and it is speculated to be one of the largest such constructions in Africa The refinery will produce more than 328 tons of gold annually. Economic analysts say that the refinery is part of government’s strategy to make up for lost oil revenue after the South Sudan split of 2011.