Muscat, Nov 14 – The foundation-stone for the RO 5 billion Madinat al Irfan, a city of the future, was laid on Wednesday. The project, to be developed over a period of 20 years, is expected to generate more than 30,000 direct and indirect jobs. Located in the western area of Madinat al Irfan, it spans over 4.5 million square metres. The foundation-stone was laid under the auspices of Sayyid Khalid bin Hilal al Busaidy, Minister of the Diwan of Royal Court. In a joint press conference held at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC), it was announced the Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran), the executive arm of the government for development of tourism sector, in partnership, with Majid Al Futtaim, a leading mall, communities, retail and leisure pioneer, will develop the western area of Madinat al Irfan.
The joint venture will see the development of a vibrant mixed-use community that will serve as the new urban centre for Muscat. Stating that the launch of Madinat Al Irfan project coincides with the Sultanate’s celebration of 48th National Day, Sayyid Khalid said the project will be built in a way that “enhances Omani identity and shows the beauty of the Sultanate”. To be completed in three stages, Madinat Al Irfan will feature more than 11,000 residential units comprising villas, townhouses and apartments, 100,000 sqm of retail space, 700,000 sqm of office space as well as a number of cultural and lifestyle offerings.
It will serve as an integrated, sustainable and inclusive community. It will cater to all sections of the local community, providing a model for future urban developments, not just locally, but across the region. Commenting on the project, Peter Walichnowski, CEO of Omran, described it as “another important step forward in the transformation of Muscat’s real estate and tourism offering towards setting a new international benchmark for urban development living.” Hawazen Esber, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim, told the Observer the total investments of Majid Al Futtaim in Oman are expected to reach RO 700 million by 2020, including Mall of Oman project, which is under construction.
Zainab al Nassri