Signings include Foster & Partners and Hoehler and Al Salmy as architectural consultants to the development.
Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) launched the Mina Al Sultan Qaboos Waterfront project at an official ceremony. Phase one of the integrated mixed-user scheme is projected to be completed by 2020. It will transform the current commercial Port Sultan Qaboos area into a major tourism-based development with business and residential zones, a shopping centre, six hotels, recreation amenities and tourist attractions, as well as docking facilities for cruise liners and yachts.
At the ceremony, a number of strategic commercial agreements were signed including Blizzard Brothers who have been appointed to manage the first construction activity of Souq Al Mina, a core public aspect of the development that will become home for over 80 local SMEs, shops, restaurants and cafes.
Omran also announced it 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% of the project design is completed in Oman, led by Oman architect Nadia Al Lawati.
Omran CEO James Wilson 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 of Oman. The development will absolutely respect and compliment Oman’s rich historical context.”
The development will take place over four separate phases. The master development plan was conceptualised in 2015, with significant inputs received from private sector investors.
Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, who is minister of commerce and industry and chairman of Omran, said: “Our Vision for the Mina Al Sultan Qaboos Waterfront is to create a world-class waterfront development of outstanding beauty and interest that celebrates the maritime history of Muscat and showcases the very best of Omani culture, heritage and innovation to a global audience. Upon completion it will provide an extraordinary year-round tourism hub that is rich in activities, entertainment and experiences, and is accessible to all.
“It will also 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.”
Minister of tourism and Omran board member Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mahrizi added: “The Mina Al Sultan Qaboos Waterfront represents arguably the most exciting and high potential real estate project currently underway in the Sultanate of Oman. In this spectacular and historic setting, 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 [Gulf Cooperation Council]. Not only will it enrich the lives of the local community, but it will play a pivotal role in the growth of the national tourism industry over the next 20 years and beyond.”