Conrad Prabhu –
MUSCAT, MARCH 14 –
Construction work on the Mall of Oman — a super-regional retail destination — has commenced at Bausher in Muscat Governorate.
Majid Al Futtaim Holding (MAF), a leading developer, owner and operator of shopping malls, hotels and mixed-use communities in the Middle East and North Africa, is developing the signature project.
Recently, the Dubai-based conglomerate named the joint venture of Shapoorji Pallonji Middle East and Consolidated Contractors Company Oman (SP-CCC) as the main contractor for the implementation of the Mall of Oman. The value of the contract, which was keenly contested by a number of leading construction firms in the Sultanate, is estimated at $450 million.
Initial enabling works, representing Phase 1 of the project, are being undertaken by local Omani firm Sarooj Construction. Besides major earthworks and utility diversions, the contract also entails the construction of road infrastructure providing access to the site just off Muscat Expressway.
The SP-CCC joint venture has been given a three-year timeframe to deliver its contract. When completed by 2020, the sprawling facility — which is expected to be the biggest shopping destination of its kind in the Sultanate — will host an estimated 350 outlets set on a retail space of over 135,000 sq metres. Major attractions are expected to include a giant snow park, VOX Cinemas complex, and the nation’s largest store of the Abercrombie & Fitch apparel and lifestyle brand.
The Mall of Oman represents the flagship of an estimated $515 million investment that MAF has pledged to expand its footprint in the Sultanate. Last month, the conglomerate’s property arm announced the commencement of construction work on its ‘My City Centre Sur’ community mall in South Al Sharqiya Governorate. The joint venture of Oman Shapoorji Company (OSCO) and Shapoorji Pallonji Mideast (SPML) is undertaking the construction of the complex at a cost of around $40 million.
Last year, the retail giant said it planned to boost investments in the Sultanate to around $1.8 billion by the year 2020. This will include investments towards new landmarks, expansion of existing malls, its continued contribution to Al Mouj Muscat (the mixed use Integrated Tourism Complex near Muscat International Airport), and the development of its substantial retail and entertainment brands.