Omran to set up new company for waterfront project
The new company will be 51% owned by Omran, with the remaining 49% taken up by pension and investment funds, and private sector investors
Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) has established a dedicated investor relations taskforce in order to field additional interest from private sector investors for the Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront Project.
The Omran investor relations unit is already in advanced stages of negotiations with a number of private sector entities, state related entities, and investment funds. The project has attracted high levels of interest from Omani and international private sector investors, developers, and the banking community, according to the organisation.
Omran is set to establish a new company to develop the Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront Project, 51% of which will be owned by the developer. The remaining 49% will be taken up by pension and investment funds, together with private sector investors.
Omran has also received interest from global hotel operators to manage one of the seven waterfront hotels (five-, four-, and three-star hotels), including The Address (Emaar), Mandarin Oriental hotel Group, Hyatt, Viceroy Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Banyan Tree Luxury Hotels and Resorts, Chedi, and Four Seasons.
Salah Al Ghazali, chief investment officer at Omran, commented: “In this era of low interest rates, and low returns on more traditional investments, investors are looking for new markets and avenues to provide healthy and secure sustainable and recurring returns. Following the recent announcement of the project, we’ve been very heartened by the strong expressions of interest shown by prominent local investors. Our priority is to offer opportunities to local investors, followed by the regional and international investment community.”
“The development will maintain the heritage and authenticity of the destination while adding modern components to completely reinvigorate the Muttrah Corniche. The project, in essence, is developed for local and global audiences, with all the uniquely Omani heritage and hospitality elements firmly incorporated.” he addedi.
The waterfront destination will be developed over four phases. Construction of Phase 1 will begin in mid-2016 and is scheduled to complete by 2020.
Phase 1 will include leisure and entertainment facilities such as an SME incubator - arts, crafts and organic farmers market (Emporium), a tourism visitor’s centre, boutique and destination shopping, restaurants and cafes, a marine heritage visitor centre featuring the tall ship Shabab Oman, Oman’s aquarium, and an extensive kid’s entertainment village.
Additionally, Phase 1 will include Matrah fisherman’s wharf, fish souq, a five-star marina hotel with a yacht club and marina, a four-star family hotel, hotel-operated residential apartments, starter apartments for first-time buyers with extensive parking, and park and ride locations.
The master development plan was finalised in 2015 with significant input from private sector investors.