James Wilson was appointed CEO of Omran in 2016, having transitioned from Oman’s Ministry of Transport & Communications, where he led the planning of the Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront Company (Muscat Waterfront), launched in 2016. James has more than 30 years of experience in diverse roles in resort and property development, public-private partnership ventures, strategic management, and investment promotion.
His experience includes developing and acquiring some of the most prestigious and recognisable real estate & tourism destinations across Europe, the GCC and Africa, including The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, Pine Cliffs & Quinta Do Lago in Portugal and Zimbali Resort in Durban, The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa. During his career as a hospitality & real estate developer, James has completed 35 projects in six countries valued at over US$ 10 billion.
As Chief Executive Officer of Omran, James oversees the Government of Oman’s tourism and urban development efforts. Omran is developing a growing portfolio of projects which are geographically spread across the country, including the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre and Madinat Al Irfan, the largest mixed-use urban development project in the Sultanate. In addition to projects, Omran is also responsible for the asset management of numerous operating hotels & a portfolio of joint venture investments. James’s role is to maximize the positive impact of these projects and investments in the country’s to further Oman’s drive towards economic diversification.
He has previously held the positions of President IFA Hotels & Resorts Kuwait & Dubai, CEO Real Estate for Nakheel & Istithmar Dubai, leading the development and delivery of The Palm Jumeirah. James also led the acquisition & development of the V&A Waterfront development in Capetown, South Africa. Apart from developing and managing leading projects in Oman, a focus of his role at Omran is on succession planning, leadership development, the retention of top talent and creating a team of future leaders who will: Be willing to take calculated risks Have a bias toward action Have the ability to negotiate effectively Will be forward thinking—the ability to plan for the future Be Intrepid—the ability to perform effectively in complex and difficult environments Be focused on team building—the ability to achieve success through group efforts Learn to be strategic, yet tactical Be tough, yet emotionally sensitive Finally, to be decisive, yet inclusive.