The $390-million phase one of Mina al Sultan Qaboos Waterfront was launched in Muttrah by Omran on Wednesday. On its completion in 2020, the integrated mixed-use waterfront destination is expected to transform the Port Sultan Qaboos area into a major tourism hub, spanning 64-hectares. The Mina Al Sultan Qaboos Waterfront will include business and residential zones, destination mall, six hotels (including three, four and five star), recreation amenities, tourist attractions, as well as docking facilities for cruise liners and yachts. The Souq al Mina will be a core public aspect of the development, which will become home for over 80 local SMEs, shops, restaurants and cafes. TURN TO P2
Omani entrepreneurs will cover a number of verticals such as catering, retail, fashion, accessories, entertainment, decorative arts, crafts, textiles, design, furniture, jewellery, gifts, organic. The Souq al Mina area is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2017 and will be situated alongside a still functioning harbour for cruise ships and yachts, which will celebrate Oman’s rich cultural heritage with contemporary aesthetics.
An agreement has been reached with the first investor for the Waterfront project, who will develop a four star hotel in proximity to the Muttrah fish market.
Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of Omran, said, “Upon completion it will provide an extraordinary year round tourism hub that is rich in activities, entertainment and experiences, and is accessible to all.
He added, “It will provide a pedestrian-friendly lifestyle community that provides the people of Muscat a true ‘downtown hub” and that serves as a catalyst for the broader regeneration of Muttrah, and serve as an important platform for successful business enterprise and a stimulus for significant job creation.”
Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrzi, Minister of Tourism, said, “The waterfront represents arguably the most exciting and high potential real estate project currently underway in the Sultanate. We are confident that it will soon establish itself as a premier destination in Oman, and one of the most high profile and celebrated tourism infrastructure projects across the GCC. It will play a pivotal role in the growth of the national tourism industry over the next 20 years and beyond.”
Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, said, “This is a very exciting day for Muscat and for the expansion of Oman’s tourism infrastructure as an integral part of Oman Vision 2020. Today’s launch is all about explaining how phase one will set in place the regeneration of the historic former port area of this great city into a true tourism gateway for the country, providing sustainable economic development and job opportunities for many generations to come.
James Wilson, CEO of Omran, said, “Constructing this project is a challenging proposition, but the success of that endeavour rests on how the project is established from the outset. Much of the architectural design will be concerned with providing low energy sustainable solutions that draw inspiration from the rich architectural and cultural traditions of the Sultanate.
Omran also signed and MoU with Omantel for the delivery of smart city solutions for the project.
Up to 49 per cent of shares in the Waterfront Company will be available for sale, for which Omran said that advanced discussions are taking place with several local and international investment companies.
The Jebel Rock Mountain Waterpark is in the final stages of completion on design and build agreement with discussions with key investors due for completion shortly.
Al Inshirah – National Ferry Terminal will enable direct travel to Iran and will include a 100-key five-star hotel,, as well as 50 luxury residential penthouses and main ROP Coast Guard Tower.
Among the several strategic commercial agreements signed, the key one was with Blizzard Brothers to manage the first construction activity of Souq al Mina. Omran has appointed Omani company HD23, a joint venture with Nadia al Lawati, architect and owner of 23 Degrees North, and Harper Downie, as lead consultants and master planners. The 50/50 joint venture will ensure that 100 per cent of the project design is completed in Oman, led by Omani architect Nadia. HD23 will embrace and mentor young Omani architects and recruit them based on Omran’s ‘Design League’ initiative.