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Oman starts development of Madinat Al Irfan smart city

Muscat's future city is being developed by Omran and the UAE's Majid Al Futtaim

Madinat Al Irfan will be a Omani smart city covering 45ha of land [image: Omran].
Madinat Al Irfan will be a Omani smart city covering 45ha of land [image: Omran].

A foundation stone has been laid for the Madinat Al Irfan smart city in Muscat, Oman, that is being developed by a joint venture between the government and Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim. 

The government-backed Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) and Majid Al Futtaim inaugurated the mixed-use metropolis, dubbed Muscat's 'city of the future', on 14 November.

Madinat Al Irfan will cover more than 45ha of desert territory near Muscat and will be built in multiple phases, the first of which will be completed in 2023. Phase 1 will see a mixed-use community development built across 2ha of land.

READ: Oman and Korea ink agreement to set up smart cities

Majid Al Futtaim said it was already working on a masterplan that will include serviced plots available for commercial, residential, education, healthcare, entertainment, and hospitality developments.

A joint venture company called the Madinat Al Irfan Development Company has been created by Omran and Majid Al Futtaim to manage the long-term development of the project. A board of directors chaired by HE Talal Al Rahbi, deputy secretary general of Oman's Supreme Council for Planning has also been created to guide the delivery of the city.

The scale of the project has been described as “unprecedented” by HE Al Rahbi, who said Madinat Al Irfan “will transform Oman’s economy with significant socio-economic benefits”. 

Further details on the development, such as its cost or the number of new jobs that could be created during construction, have yet to be disclosed.

READ: Dubai's Majid Al Futtaim to run world's biggest ski slope in China

Omran's chief executive officer (CEO), Peter Walichnowsk, said the project will support Oman's Vision 2040 by providing the country with “pioneering tourism infrastructure and lifestyle development”. He added that it would bring together the “highest standards of expertise in quality development with genuine local heritage”.

Majid Al Futtaim's CEO of communities, Hawazen Esber, added that the company hope the project will “become a catalyst for economic diversification” in the country, as well as a “benchmark in sustainability and urban design”.

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Construction Week - Issue 730
Feb 21, 2019