Muscat, 1st January 2015:
The Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) will supervise the development for the Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront Project, which will transform Port Sultan Qaboos into a major tourism-based mixed-use waterfront destination.
The OMR 500 Million project consists of four development phases, with the first phase expected to be completed by 2019, and was formally announced at a press conference by Minister of Transport and Communications, His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi and Omran CEO James Watson.
The mixed-use waterfront development is expected to become a major tourist destination for Oman, offering one of the region’s most authentic and historic waterfront promenades, while promoting the historic centuries old Muttrah harbour. The project will also provide a welcome boost to the small business owners of Muscat and will generate thousands of sustainable job opportunities.
The Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront Project aligns with the government’s direction towards economic diversification, and the development is expected to play a leading role in the growth of the tourism sector in Muscat for the decades ahead. The project will be developed over a 64 hectare area in Sultan Qaboos Port, and will include business and residential zones, retail centres, 6 hotels (3, 4 and 5 Star), waterfront promenades, berthing facilities for cruise liners and super yachts, tourist attractions and recreation facilities.
The waterfront destination will be developed over four phases, with phase one construction getting underway in 2016. The master development plan was finalized in 2015 with significant inputs received from private sector investors, who are keen to capitalize on the tourism and hospitality opportunities presented by the authentic waterfront development. As such, the private sector is anticipated to play a major role in the development, both in terms partnership funding and the creation of investment opportunities, and the sector will also play a key role in shaping the business, hospitality and retail makeup of the new waterfront destination.
As many as 12,000 direct and 7,000 indirect jobs are expected to be created after the completion of the OMR500 million-project, which will dramatically transform Port Sultan Qaboos into a major tourism-based mixed-use waterfront destination.
The first phase of Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront consists of a fisherman’s wharf, fish souq, a five-star marina hotel, a four-star family hotel, hotel-operated residential apartments, starter apartments for first time home buyers, destination shopping, waterside restaurants and cafes, boutiques, offices, entertainment and cultural facilities as well as super yacht and a leisure boat marina. It is anticipated that Phase One will be completed and operational by 2019; coinciding with many prominent global cultural, tourism and sports events that are to be hosted in the region.
The second phase of the project is planned to commence in 2019, and will include a five-star hotel, a four-star hotel, multi-use conference facilities, a healthcare centre and sports club and residential apartments. Meanwhile, the third phase sees the completion of new wharf and berthing facilities to cater for cruise liners, ferries and coastguard vessels. Also included is an additional boutique hotel, branded residential apartments with retail and hospitality areas.
The fourth and final phase includes a budget hotel, logistics zones, an integrated healthcare clinic and an accommodation zone for employees. It is expected that the final construction phase will be completed by 2027. To cater for the influx of visitors to the new waterfront destination, there will also be 6,000 new car parks created over an area of 197,000 Sq Mtrs, while the total built up area of Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront will cover 451,000 Sq Mtrs, approx. 70% of the total development area.
A new company will be established to develop the Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront Project, with 51% owned by Omran, and the remaining 49% taken up by pension and investment funds, together with private sector investors. The Public / Private Company model is central to Omran’s new development strategy, whereby private institutions and investors work hand-in-hand with the government on commercial projects. By taking a position in projects such as these, private sector investors benefit not only from secure future returns by partnering with the Government of Oman, they also play a key role in building capacity to support the rapidly growing tourism and travel sector in the Sultanate.
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