Oman will spend about $8bn on property developments across the country that will include hotels, a shopping mall and Oman’s largest conference centre.
The Convention and Exhibition Centre next to Muscat’s airport will be completed by the end of 2014, according to Omran, the investment arm of the tourism ministry.
The project will have an auditorium for 6,000 people, a shopping mall, a business park, four hotels and serviced apartments, said Abdul Wahid Al Farsi, vice president of corporate affairs at Omran.
“We just started the platform work for the convention centre,” Al Farsi said in an interview in Muscat, the capital, on Monday. The project is valued at more than OR700m ($1.8bn), he said.
Oman is investing in tourism infrastructure to make the economy less dependent on oil. Tourism contributed 2.9 percent to gross domestic product in 2009 and the government aims to increase that to about ten percent by 2019, Al Farsi said.
Financing for the Muscat project will be provided by the government and banks, Al Farsi said. Private developers may be given the chance to work on parts of the second phase of the project, which include the shopping mall, he said. This first phase is due to be completed in mid-2013 and will include a hotel managed by Intercontinental Hotels Group Plc.
Omran plans to build at least five other hotels in Oman. Construction of The Fort, a 120-room five-star boutique hotel designed to resemble an ancient desert fort, will start this year, Al Farsi said.For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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