MUSCAT, SEPT 13 – Oman Post, the wholly government-owned postal and logistics services provider, has roped in a private Omani investor to construct post office complexes as part of mixed-use commercial developments at three locations in Muscat Governorate. Bayan Investment House, a leading investment vehicle for real estate developments, announced over the weekend that it has signed an agreement with Oman Post for the establishment of modern post offices at Al Khuwair, Qurum and Al Khoudh. Signing on behalf of Bayan was its Chief Executive Fahd al Khalili, while Oman Post was represented by its CEO, Abdulmalik al Balushi.
The landmark pact – the first by Oman Post under the Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (DBFOT) model – marks an early success for parent Asyad Group, the integrated transport and logistics flagship of the Omani government, in tapping private investment in the development of Oman Post complexes on a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) basis. Late last year, Asyad Group invited private developers to compete for the opportunity to develop as many as five sites across the capital region on a DBFOT basis. The proposed locations and corresponding land areas were identified as: Ruwi (1,581 sq metres), Qurum (1,660 sq metres), Al Khuwair (2,350 sq metres), Al Khoud (3,040 sq metres) and Al Ghubrah (2,184 sq metres).
Explaining the rationale behind its decision to enlist private investment in the development of the sites, Asyad Group said: “Asyad and its subsidiaries have sizable land banks in different parts of Oman, some of them are located at prime locations, which can be developed with the help of private developers to generate an additional source of revenue, reduce dependence on the Ministry of Finance (MoF), achieve development objectives and expansion requirements without additional funding from MoF and can play vital role in improving the lives of citizens and help boost the economy of the Sultanate of Oman.” Under the DBFOT model, the selected developer is granted sub-usufruct rights to invest in a mixed use development that includes commercial and residential components, hotels, public facilities, and retail shops, offices and medical centres, according to Asyad.
The investor will also be responsible for the master planning, design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of the entire development for a period of 25 years, upon the completion of which, all of the assets will transfer to Oman Post. Importantly, the PPP model ensures that neither Asyad Group nor Oman Post incurs no financial outlay during the contract term, neither in terms of explicit cash payment nor in the form of any assets except provision of land. “The agreement provides for redeveloping existing Oman Post locations (Al Qurum, Al Khuwair and Al Khoudh) into modern post offices complemented with quality retail outlets,” added Bayan Investment House in a tweet on Thursday.