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Oman plans to get a new airport city in Seeb

by Paromita Dey on Mar 27, 2016

Expansion is currently underway at the Muscat International airport.
Expansion is currently underway at the Muscat International airport.

The government of Oman has unveiled plans for the development of a major airport city at Seeb, supported by Muscat International Airport, where an estimated $5bn expansion is currently underway.

The project, according to a top official of Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC) , aims to transform the airport from a mere gateway into a destination.

Aimen Ahmed al Hosni, CEO of OAMC , said the initiative is a key part of the company's five-year strategic growth Plan (2016-2020) that aims to transform the company from its current status as a local player into a global airport operator.

"Airports are no longer mere runways for planes to land and take off, but they are like malls for people to visit and shop," the CEO told local Oman Daily Observer.

He also added, "Our vision doesn't stop with the operation and management of airports in Oman, but within the next five years, we also aim to operate and manage, and potentially even own, airports overseas as well."

The strategy envisions a plan to operate a total of at least 10 local and international airports by 2020, Al Hosni mentioned.

The CEO also announced a number of landmark initiatives that will position Muscat International Airport for strong investment growth over the coming years.

Notable is a plan to appoint two ground-handlers who will compete with each other in providing ground services to airlines -- a move that promises to dramatically enhance the quality of services currently provided to airline passengers.

Additionally, the existing terminal will be revamped and dedicated for use by low-cost carriers, among other users, he said. The new terminal will be designated Terminal 1, while the existing one will be designated Terminal 2, he said.

Further, in line with OAMC 's plans to promote the development of an Airport City, three zones have been identified for real estate and retail development around the airport.