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Sun 16 Mar 2008 12:37 PM

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Oman plans $1bn healthcare city

Complex to be built near Muscat next to Blue City development, Kuwait's Gulf Investment House says.

Oman's Majan Development Company (MDC) is planning to develop a healthcare city near Muscat with an estimated investment of 300-400 million rials ($774 million to $1.03 billion), a senior official of the Kuwait-based Gulf Investment House (GIH) told reporters.

"An international consultancy agency has conducted market research for the project in the GCC region. The result was positive... A feasibility study for the project is going on now," said Bashar Al Tuwaijri, senior manager for direct investment at GIH, which is initiating the project with a 20% stake in MDC.

Tuwaijri said the healthcare city would be constructed on a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis.

"Construction is expected to start by next year," he told reporters.

Oman's Ministry of Tourism has agreed to allot land of one million square metres near Blue City, which is 100 kilometres away from Muscat.

Al Tuwaijri said the healthcare city would include medical colleges, hospitals, conference halls, hotels and shopping malls.

"The project will be funded by way of equity and term loan from banks," he said.

MDC, which has a paid up capital of 25 million rials, was formed by a group of investors in the Gulf region to develop real estate projects in Oman.

It is 20% owned by GIH, 10% by Commercial Real Estate, 10% by Sharjah Islamic Bank, 30% by other non-Omani investors and 30% by pension funds and other institutional investors in Oman.