Work to start on Oman's International Medical City

Significant headway made in groundwork at $1bn Salalah site

NEWS, Projects, Apex Medical Group, Groundwork, Hospital, International Medical City, Salalah

Work on the $1bn International Medical City (IMC) in Salalah is expected to begin in the coming months.

According to the Saudi-based Apex Medical Group, which is overseeing the project, significant headway has been made in preparing the groundwork, paving the way for phase one of the development to begin.

Almost all of the major milestones leading to the commencement of work on the project have so far been achieved, Dr Naeema Aziz, chief operating officer, was quoted as saying in the Oman Daily Observer.

They include permits and licenses, as well as studies necessary to advance the project through to the groundbreaking stage, Dr Aziz told delegates attending the Focus Day proceedings of the Oman Construction Summit 2014 at Crowne Plaza Muscat. The three-day event has been organised by IQPC of Dubai in association with Global Exhibitions & Conferences of Oman.

The massive development, designed to position Oman as a global medical tourism hub, will be constructed on an 866,000m2 site leased from the Ministry of Tourism. It will feature three major components — a healthcare resort with staff accommodations, healthcare complex, and healthcare education complex — built over two phases. The centrepiece is a 530-bed multi-tertiary hospital catering to 21 different specialties.

Dr Aziz said the engineering design of the project infrastructure has been completed, with a Request for Proposals (RfP) due to be floated soon for the construction of the main hospital.

“We are in the process of prequalifying the designers and contractors for the healthcare component of the project. For the detailed engineering design and construction of the hospital, we have decided to approach specialised firms that have substantial experience in this field,” said Dr Aziz.

Also ongoing is the detailed engineering design of the hospitality component (centring on the healthcare resort). “We are in the process of appointing a detailed hospitality designer, an EPC (engineering-procurement-construction) contractor, and a technical supervisor,” Dr Aziz said, adding that negotiations are ongoing with two potential candidates for the operation of the healthcare resort.

Over the 2014-2015 timeframe, the focus will shift to the infrastructure development of the project, as well as the engineering design of the healthcare component and the hotel apartments.

The main multi-tertiary hospital is slated for pre-commissioning in 2016 ahead of its planned launch in the second half of 2017, she said. Phase 1 of the project, towards which around $300mn have been earmarked by the promoters, will generate significant contracting, service and other business opportunities for local and international companies, Dr Aziz added. 

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