MUSCAT, MARCH 4 –
Construction work on a unique ethnic-style resort — representing the initial investment in a sumptuous Integrated Tourism Complex (ITC) dubbed ‘ Little India’ — is due to commence this month at a beach-front location within the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Duqm.
The so-called ‘Village Resort’, featuring a cluster of 25 luxury chalets in the first stage with two high-end apartment blocks envisioned in the next stage, will be modelled on the wellness hospitality concept, according to Pradeepkumar B Nair (pictured), Chairman of Little India LLC.
“The design and hospitality offering of the Village Resort centres around wellness holidays, which is a hugely growing market internationally. With so many resort ventures under planning and development at the Duqm SEZ, we decided to come up with a distinctive offering. Thus, in addition to the rustic village theme, the resort will include a full-fledged wellness centre, naturopathy treatments, and spa-based therapies. This is a key differentiator of our hospitality offering,” said Nair.
Last December, Little India LLC signed a usufruct agreement with the SEZ Authority at Duqm (SEZAD) covering the lease of a 600,000 sq metre waterfront swathe overlooking the Arabian Sea. Conceived as an Integrated Tourism Complex (ITC), the development will feature a 5-star hotel, multiple resorts, marina, mixed use commercial and residential blocks, beach-front villas and other luxury elements. Total investment in the destination is estimated at $748 million over the next 10 – 15 years, according to Little India LLC, the master developer.
Separately, Pradeepkumar Nair, an Indian national, has teamed up with local Omani investor Shaikh Hilal bin Khalid al Maawali in the establishment of a first-ever sebacic acid production plant at the SEZ with an investment of around $67 million. The facility is due to commence commercial operations this month, paving the way for further side-stream and downstream investments aggregating in excess of $1 billion over the coming decade.
“We feel blessed and fortunate that SEZAD and its Chairman, HE Yahya al Jabri, have trusted us with this second investment in the SEZ,” said Nair. “As master developer, Little India will make available plots of land to local investors for further development. Marriott Hotels has already shown interest in the management and operation of a high-end property featuring initially a 100-key hotel, ramping up to 200 keys in the second stage. We are in touch with them for the design.”