Muscat, Nov 15 – A 16,960-bed facility has been inaugurated to accommodate workers of contracting firms at the Duqm Special Economic Zone.
Called Renaissance Village Duqm, the integrated project is touted to be a solution to avoid the environmentally hazardous porta cabins. It is expected to help the authorities defend against criticism generally faced vis-a-vis the living conditions of migrant workers.
The project is expected to offer accommodation to all levels of employees, white and blue collar, and multiple recreational and healthcare facilities.
Speaking to the Observer, Stephen Thomas, CEO, Renaissance, said the project cost is RO 75 million, while break-even factor can be achieved with an occupancy rate of 46 per cent, which the company hopes to cross in 2018.
Yahya al Zadjali of Duqm Free Zone said such projects with top-quality facilities “make sense” than allowing porta cabins and camps, which require regular monitoring to ensure their safety and workers’ wellbeing.
The room rates start from $10 per day (eight persons in a room), $12 (6 persons), $14 (4), $20 (2) and $40 for a suite. The packages offered to occupants include free laundry and other housekeeping facilities.
On whether the prevailing economic situation has affected profitability of the project, Thomas said it has been built for the long term. “What has affected us is the delay, but the fact is that projects are coming up. This project is part of the government’s long-term sustainable development plans.”
There is scope for expansion based on the demand and it will depend on the demographics too. There are plans for a Duqm Beach Club hospitality project, which is currently in the design stages. It will happen in a year’s time.