Master developer Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) and top Dubai property group Damac have jointly started the groundwork for the transformation of the historical Mina Al Sultan Qaboos (MASQ) port into a $2-billion integrated mixed-use waterfront destination.
Featuring a host of amenities including hotels, residences, food and beverage, retail and entertainment offerings, the project is in line with the National Strategy for Tourism 2040, said a statement from Omran, the sultanate’s tourism development arm.
Since the initial announcement of the joint venture, extensive project planning and place making research for Muttrah, the district that surrounds MASQ, has been undertaken, it stated.
This included third-party studies, technical evaluation and traffic flow analysis. After the master-plan was granted approvals from Oman’s Ministry of Tourism, demolishing began as the joint venture prepared sub surfaces for the first phase of construction, said the statement from Omran.
Dr Ali bin Masoud Al Sunaidy, Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council for Planning, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Chairman of Omran, said the redevelopment of the port into an integrated lifestyle destination stems from Sultan Qaboos’ vision of transforming the historical center of commerce in Muscat into a timeless and thriving economic hub.
“The first stage of this project aims to set the foundation for the transformation, enhance traffic management, while establishing the necessary framework that will cement local SMEs’ and Omani nationals’ progressive role within the project,” he noted.
The joint venture also announced plans to house an on-site discovery center by the first half of 2019, said the statement.
The space will enrich visitors’ experience with the heritage of Muttrah, while leveraging technology tools, such as virtual reality gear, to explore the community’s rich past and its visionary future. The center will also showcase details of the approved master-plan for the waterfront destination, it stated.
Hussain Sajwani, the chairman of Damac, said: “As we pave the way forward, and redefine urban development in the Middle East, Damac once again confirms its commitment to developing a world-class destination in Muscat.”
Damac was selected as the strategic partner of the joint venture due to its successful track record in developing world-class residential and leisure projects in the Gulf and around the world.
Damac’s extensive portfolio of luxury homes, hotels and international golf courses in its home market of the UAE, Middle East and the United Kingdom, make it the ideal partner for establishing an integrated community-based destination that will attract global interest.
“Working closely with local stakeholder, and after extensive planning which included architectural studies and technical due diligence, we have moved forward with the preliminary work that will prepare the port’s conversion into a premium tourism destination,” he added.
TradeArabia News Service