Project studies double value of Oman's $2bn Mina Al Sultan Qaboos
A larger investment was needed to match the project's strategic location and significance, officials say
The value of Mina Al Sultan Qaboos, the waterfront project being co-developed by Dubai’s Damac Properties and Oman’s Omran, doubled after “necessary studies and plans” were implemented for the scheme, Construction Week has learned. Mina Sultan Al Qaboos is a multi-phase development aimed at transforming the Port Sultan Qaboos in Muttrah, which was originally the centre of commerce in Muscat.
In an emailed statement, media representatives of Damac explained that the initial cost of $1bn (AED3.67bn; OMR385m) was based on an initial memorandum of understanding signed for the project. Mina Al Sultan Qaboos’s value was reported as $2bn (AED7.3bn; OMR770m) earlier this month, when Damac announced that groundwork had begun for the scheme.
Responding to Construction Week’s queries regarding the project’s updated value, Damac said: “After the necessary studies and plans were concluded, the scale of the project required a larger investment […] in a way that merits the strategic location of the port, and the historical importance of the area to Muscat and the region.
“Therefore, the value has doubled.”
Mina Al Sultan Qaboos is one of the megaprojects that is aimed at transforming Oman’s economy through tourism development. Its masterplan was conceptualised in 2015, and according to Omran’s website, the $390m (AED1.4bn; OMR150m) Phase 1 of the mixed-use project will complete in 2020.
Earlier this month, Damac said work had begun within Muttrah, the area around Mina Al Sultan Qaboos. Activities implemented within Muttrah included extensive project planning and place-making research, in addition to third-party studies, technical evaluations, and traffic-flow analyses.
Damac said in its statement at the time that demolition work had started after Oman’s Ministry of Tourism approved Mina Al Sultan Qaboos’s masterplan. Damac and Omran’s joint venture has started preparing sub-surfaces for Phase 1 of the programme, and also plans to develop a discovery centre as part of the project within H1 2019.
Dubai-listed real estate company, Damac, is one of the largest developers in the UAE and the wider Middle East. Its chairman, Hussain Sajwani, was ranked in Construction Week’s Top 50 GCC Developers 2018 list this September.
With its strategically important location between the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman, the sultanate is one of the Gulf’s busiest markets for waterfront developments. Late in October 2018, ground was broken on the 11.5ha Barka Marina scheme, worth $130m (OMR50m). Deep foundations in the Barka wilayat project’s commercial areas are 70% complete, with all three stages of the Omani real estate development due to be ready between 2021 and 2022.
Mina Al Sultan Qaboos, meanwhile, is one of Oman’s most largest planned smart city projects. Alongside Omran’s Madinat Al Irfan, it is due to be a topic of discussion at Inside Stories, an event that will be held on 13 November 2018 at the premises of Oman’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation. Oman News Agency said Ithraa, Oman’s inward investment and expert development agency, would discuss “the game-changing role of smart cities in tomorrow’s economic growth”, having recognised “the key role of Oman’s own, upcoming smart cities”, Madinat Al Irfan and Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos.