First phase of  $390 million waterfront project unveiled

The Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) has unveiled 'first phase' details of the eagerly anticipated $390 million Mina Al Sultan Qaboos Waterfront Project.

The integrated mixed use waterfront destination is projected to be completed by 2020, and will transform the current commercial Port Sultan Qaboos area into a major tourism-based development, spanning a 64-hectare area.

It will include business and residential zones, destination mall, six hotels (including three, four and five star), recreation amenities, tourist attractions, as well as docking facilities for cruise liners and yachts.

The development will take place over four separate phases following the masterplan development in 2015 which saw involvement from British engineering and construction firm Atkins.

British born Omran CEO James Wilson said: “Constructing this project is a challenging proposition but the success of that endeavour rests on how the project is established from the outset. Much of the architectural design will be concerned with providing low energy sustainable solutions that draw inspiration from the rich architectural and cultural traditions of the Sultanate of Oman. The development will absolutely respect and compliment Oman’s rich historical context.

“Scheduled for completion in 2020, the Mina Al Sultan Qaboos Waterfront will integrate with and enhance the historical area of Muttrah, and combine traditional Omani aesthetics with modern technology, focusing on sustainability and harmony with the environment. Muttrah was for centuries the centre of commerce in Muscat and one of the largest sea ports in the region, with its location serving as an ideal hub for the Gulf region, African and the Indian sub-continent.

“With its proud maritime heritage combined with innovative initiatives including, Fisherman’s Wharf, Waterpark and terminal to enable direct travel to Iran, I have no doubt that the development will quickly become one of the top waterfront and tourism destinations in the region, as well as a centre for excellence in areas such as education, the arts, culture and sport.”

It has also been announced that British firm Foster and Partners have been appointed as architectural consultants to the development.

Foster and Partners is an international studio for architecture, planning, engineering and design.Established in 1967 by the prominent British architect Norman Foster, the company employs over 1,500 staff across six architectural design studios and supporting teams and has designed complex projects around the world including Wembley stadium, Apple New Campus, DIFC Dubai, WTC, Masdar City, and Al Raha Beach in Abu Dhabi.

The Souq Al Mina will be a core public aspect of the development which will become home for over 80 local SMEs, shops, restaurants and cafes.Omani entrepreneurs will cover a number of verticals such as catering, retail, fashion, accessories, entertainment, decorative arts, crafts, textiles, design, furniture, jewellery, gifts, organic products – to offer unique products and services for locals, residents and tourists.

The Souq Al Mina area is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2017 and will be situated alongside a still functioning harbour for cruise ships and yachts, which will celebrate Oman’s rich cultural heritage with contemporary aesthetics. More than 150 cruise ships are set to dock in Muscat in the next cruise ship season, as they come to experience a true jewel of Arabia.