- Omran forms dedicated investor relations Taskforce for new waterfront project
- OMR 500 Million Tourism-based mixed-use waterfront destination will be developed over 101 hectare site in Sultan Qaboos Port, and will be funded in conjunction with private sector investment.
- Project will provide stimulus boost for growing tourism sector, providing sustainable employment for citizens and setting new standards for authentic waterfront destinations in the region.
- Project funding to be secured by July 2016 to couincie with phase one construction start.
- Project received expressions of interest from leading global hotel operators to manage the waterfront hotels.
Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) has boosted resources to establish a dedicated investor relations Taskforce in order to field additional interest from private sector investors for the Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront Project.
The Omran investor relations unit is already in advanced stages of negotiations with a number of private sector entities, state related entities and investment funds, and have have reported high levels of interest from Omani and international private sector investors, developers and the banking community, who are keen to partner and participate in the new project. Omran is set to establish a new company 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.
Signifying the global attention for the waterfront development, Omran has also received expressions of interest from leading global hotel operators to manage one of the 7 iconic waterfront hotels (five, four and three star hotels), including The Address (Emaar), Mandarin Oriental hotel Group, Hyatt, Viceroy Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Banyan Tree Luxury Hotels and Resorts, Chedi and Four Seasons.
Commenting on the healthy response from investors and hotel operators, Salah Al Ghazali, Chief Investment Officer at Omran noted, “In this era of low interest rates, and low returns on more traditional investments, investors are looking for new markets and avenues to provide healthy and secure sustainable and recurring returns. Following the recent announcement of the project, we’ve been very heartened by the strong expressions of interest shown by prominent local investors. By taking a position in the waterfront development, investors clearly understand the attractive and enduring returns on offer with this state backed project., Our priority is to offer opportunities to local investors, followed by the regional and international investment community.”
He added, “This really is a project of national significance, and will be considered as one of the prime visitor destinations in the region when Phase One opens by 2020 ahead of World Expo in Dubai in 2020. Expo Dubai is expected to deliver an additional 25 million visitors to Dubai and Omran is planning its marketing and project delivery to ensure its readiness for this significant influx of international tourism to the region. The international hotel operators have clearly taken notice, and we’re pleased to be talking with some of the leading names in the industry to operate the iconic waterfront hotels.”
“The development will maintain the heritage and authenticity of the destination while adding modern components to completely reinvigorate the Muttrah Corniche. The project, in essence, is developed for local and global audiences, with all the uniquely Omani heritage and hospitality elements firmly incorporated.” concluded Al Ghazali.
Omran is the master developer of the project and aims to deliver a truly exceptional waterfront destination, with the concept benchmarked against world famous waterfront developments, such as the New Cape Town Waterfront.
The waterfront destination will be developed over four phases, with construction of Phase One beginning in mid, 2016 and completion set for 2020. Phase One will include a number of entertainment and lifestyle attractions that will generate significant footfall and make the waterfront a day-long visitor experience. Attractions will include leisure and entertainment facilities such as an SME Incubator-Arts, crafts and organic farmers market (Emporium) a tourism visitor’s centre, boutique and destination shopping, restaurants and cafes, a marine heritage visitor center featuring the tall ship Shabab Oman, Oman’s aquarium and an extensive kid’s entertainment village. The SME Incubator-Arts, crafts and organic farmers market (Emporium) is being modeled on the successful retail incubator “Watershed” at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town
Additionally, Phase One also includes Matrah fisherman’s wharf, fish souq, a five-star marina hotel with a yacht club and marina, a four-star family hotel, hotel-operated residential apartments, starter apartments for first time home buyers with extensive parking and park and ride locations.
A key objective for delivering Phase One of the waterfront development in 2020 is to also capitalize on the major global events also happening throughout the region in 2020. These events will generate an influx of additional visitors to the GCC region, which is expected to be a busy time for tourism and hospitality operators in Oman.
Highlighting the vision for the new development, Zoltan Kali, Chief Strategy Officer at Omran said, “The development plays an important role in the overall strategy of Omran focused on creating urban communities and tourism destinations. The concept is focused on catering for domestic and international tourism alike while it is primarily designed to become a hub for the community by adding new recreational and leisure activities for locals that reflect the authentic heritage of old Muscat. Comparable international examples prove that tourists are attracted to urban destinations that are popular amongst the local community as well”
“The master plan defines the vision for Muscat’s most prominent tourism destination, offering one of the region’s most authentic and historic waterfront promenades, while promoting the historic century’s 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 mainly within the Muttrah.” Added Zoltan.
The master development plan was finalized in 2015 with significant inputs received from private sector investors keen to capitalize on the tourism and hospitality opportunities presented by the authentic waterfront development. As such, the private sector is anticipated to be a major partner in the project, shaping the business, hospitality and retail makeup of the new waterfront area.
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.
To contact the investor relations team, please visit omran.om
For further information, pleas contact:
Sulaiman Ali Al Maqbali, Communication Coordinator
Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran)
Tel: +968 2439 1181