MUSCAT, JULY 7 – The transformation of the historical Mina Al Sultan Qaboos waterfront area is progressing rapidly as the project completes several preparatory activities in accordance with the project masterplan that has been approved by the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Housing in Oman. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Shareholders Agreement for the project have been signed, and final discussions with concerned ministries regarding the Project Development Agreement are under way.
The Experience and Promotion Centre located at the Al-Inshirah plot of the Muttrah Sea Road is nearing completion and will be opened to the public in the third quarter of 2019. Along with exceptional views of the Muttrah Sea Road and Sea of Oman, the centre will have an Omani art gallery as a tribute to the rich cultural influences of this historically significant location. The centre will also feature a popular Omani sea food restaurant which will be operated by an Omani food and beverage operator.
An experienced Omani firm has been appointed for the management and maintenance of the Experience and Promotion Centre, where in visitors will be able to see the project masterplan and get a sense of the residential developments through the show flats that will be on display.
“The MaSQ project will give us Omanis the chance to showcase our rich culture to the world,” said a spokesperson from Muttrah Tourism Development Company.
Since the project involves regeneration of an existing port, the project teams coordinated with 22 existing tenants (both government and private entities), and following discussion, six of them were identified and relocated from the project site to other suitable places.
The project company also completed the clearing of the project site, and rerouted services and utilities like electricity, water and telecom away from the development path.
Furthermore, the company has conducted a comprehensive security study and has secured the approval of the Royal Oman Police to implement the construction phase of the plan that will isolate the construction area from the Port operations area, enabling smooth development and progress.
Additionally, in a bid to offer companies in Oman foremost benefit, a prequalification exercise has been concluded in which more than 100 companies have shown interest for various key construction and installation packages.
The first package will be tendered in July and construction activities on the project site are set to commence in November 2019. Understanding the magnitude of the project and its potential impact on the historical location and surrounding areas, a number of studies have been conducted to assess and guide the direction of development activities.
1. A Traffic Impact Study was carried out and approved by the Muscat Municipality, and is now under review by the Royal Oman Police.
2. A Social Impact Study of the surrounding areas was done, and the findings of the study will be incorporated into the development plan as the project progresses.
3. An Environmental Impact Assessment Study was completed to assess the impact of the development on the surrounding environment and the findings have approved by the concerned ministry.
“Along with transforming the area into a vibrant tourist destination, it is extremely important that sustainability studies are conducted while developing such an iconic location. In addition to adding value to Muttrah’s economic infrastructure, it is also necessary to protect the essence and well-being of the surrounding community,” the spokesperson added.
As part of the MaSQ transformation agenda, it was also established that several opportunities for employment will be generated during both developmental and operational phases. Accordingly, several Omani resources have been recruited in various departments, and the plan includes the deployment of Omani staff at various stages of project development as the project progresses.
DAMAC was chosen by the Government of Oman to develop Mina Al Sultan Qaboos into a world-class, waterfront mixed-use destination through a joint venture with OMRAN, the government’s investment, growth and development arm. ‘Mina Al Sultan Qaboos Waterfront’ is being redeveloped into a $2 billion integrated tourist port and lifestyle destination that includes hotels, residences, as well as a dining, retail and leisure offering.