Oman's $20bn Blue City to launch in Oct

Al Sawadi Investment and Tourism targeting foreign investment with 32-square kilometre waterfront city.
By Talal Malik
Tue 18 Sep 2007 04:03 PM

Omani developer Al Sawadi Investment and Tourism (ASIT) said on Tuesday it plans in October to launch The Blue City, its $20 billion waterfront project near Muscat.

ASIT said the development's master plan and initial artists' impressions of the first phase will be revealed next month, while the sale of freehold property for the project will start in November.

Once complete the city is expected to be home to more than 250,000 people.

“The success of the first phase of The Blue City project is crucial to succeeding phases so it has been imperative to ensure our plans are in line with projected market trends and forces,” said Anees Issa Al Zadjali, chairman of ASIT, in a statement.

“ASIT is very pleased to announce that the master plan and initial artists’ impressions of the first phase of the project will be revealed in October and the first tranche of retail sales will commence in November."

The Blue City is a 32-square kilometre waterfront city being built along shoreline adjacent to the Gulf of Oman and is located on a natural peninsula 30 minutes from Muscat Seeb Airport. ASIT said the project is worth between $15 and $20 billion and has the backing of the Omani government.

Construction on the project site has already begun and vertical construction is scheduled to commence in December, Al Zadjali added.

AECO, a partnership between AKTOR of Greece and ENKA of Turkey has been appointed as contractors for the first phase of the project which will see an initial area totalling 5.5 square kilometres or 17.2%, the company said.

ASIT also said the project is supported by legislation on freehold property ownership in Oman that recognises inheritance laws from the buyers’ country of origin and is aimed at attracting foreign direct investment to develop Oman’s tourism potential

First round financing for The Blue City project was secured through the issuing of a bond note by Bear Stearns on international markets raising $925 million, the company added.

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