MUSCAT, JULY 30 – The partnership of the National Engineering Office (NEO), a well-known engineering consultancy firm of the Sultanate, and LEA Associates South Asia Private Limited (LASA) of India, has been selected by Oman’s Supreme Council for Planning to develop Regional Spatial Strategies (RSS) for Muscat Governorate as well as the adjoining Al Batinah South Governorate.
The NEO-LASA joint venture is among several local and international firms tapped by the Supreme Council to prepare Regional Spatial Strategies covering all 11 governorates of Oman. These governorate-level strategies will be collated to create the Oman National Spatial Strategy (ONSS) — a high-level land-use framework that will help the nation’s planners to chart the long-term development of the Sultanate at the regional and national levels.
The ultimate goal of the ONSS project, along with other government initiatives, is to secure sustainable and balanced development with beneficial impacts not only to the broader economy, but society, environment, and natural resources and human capital development as well.
The NEO-LASA JV led a field of prominent international consultants to clinch the award for the formulation of land-use strategies for two of the most populous and growth-oriented governorates of the Sultanate — the capital region and Al Batinah South. Covering a combined area of 8,769 sq km, the two governorates are home to 1.8 million people representing just under half of the Sultanate’s total population.
In mapping a land-use framework, the JV will evaluate, among other things, current settings across Muscat and Al Batinah South, socioeconomic conditions and trends, growth projections based on current trends, private sector activities, and their development potential based on available resources.
The JV will also propose strategies for the development of rural parts of the governorates, evaluate the need for new physical infrastructure and support utilities, and outline planning standards for land use and zoning. Also as part of its remit, the joint venture will prepare an investment programme for the Five- Year Development Plans spanning the 2040 horizon, as well as a land use plan covering all of the capital region and Al Batinah South. The data collection effort will involve the use of extensive surveys, workshops with government, public sector and private stakeholders, and interactions with community leaders — an exercise due to extend over two years.