OMAN Tourism Development Company (OMRAN), the executive arm of the government of Oman for the development of the tourism sector, and Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia have partnered to develop an OMR 5 billion (USD 13 billion) mixed-use community in Muscat, Oman.
The joint venture will see the development of a vibrant mixed-use community that will serve as the new urban center for Muscat. The announcement was made at a signing ceremony and joint press conference at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in Muscat, which was attended by members of the royal family, high-level government officials and senior leadership of OMRAN and Majid Al Futtaim.
OMRAN drives the investment, growth and development of the rapidly growing tourism sector in the Sultanate of Oman, OMRAN are currently the master developer of major tourism, heritage and urban developments, delivering some of nation’s most iconic projects, creating new destinations and unique experiences that benefit the social and economic growth of the Sultanate.
Madinat Al Irfan is the Sultanate’s largest urban development project and is set to contribute to Oman Vision 2040. Madinat Al Irfan will serve as a gateway to Oman; creating a new downtown for residents, for business and for visitors. The city will establish an integrated, sustainable and inclusive community, catering for different ages, income groups, and ethnicities. Madinat Al Irfan will become an exemplar both locally and regionally, providing a model for urban development. Importantly, Madinat Al Irfan will also become a catalyst for change in Oman; setting new benchmarks in terms of sustainability and urban design, providing public transport while creating a magnet for business, a center for tourism and a great place to live and work.
Currently, the eastern area being developed by OMRAN sits alongside Wadi Park just minutes from the newly opened Muscat International Airport; it is a multi-use district adjoining the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC), a world- class venue for international conferences, trade shows and concerts. The whole project would span an area of 4.5 million sq.m. It is anticipated to create more than 30,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country and will include more than 11,000 residential units, 100,000 square meters of retail space, as well as 700,000sqm of office space.
Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of OMRAN, said: “The development of Madinat Al Irfan is a great addition to Muscat and reflects the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to diversify the Omani economy.”
The first phase of the project, scheduled for completion by 2023, and is expected to see investments in land infrastructure that will enable the development of mixed-use components. Moreover, OMRAN has reported on the progress of its plans to open the first JW Marriott hotel in Oman, within the Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) precinct at Madinat Al Irfan. Set to be completed by the end of this year in parallel with the Convention Centre, the five-star JW Marriott will open its doors in early 2019 and will play an integral role in attracting business and leisure travellers as well as boosting the Sultanate’s MICE offering.