The Oman Tourism Development Company (OMRAN) – the executive arm of the Government of Oman for the development of the tourism sector – and Majid Al Futtaim announced a strategic partnership to develop the western area of Madinat Al Irfan.
The joint venture will see the development of a vibrant mixed-use community that will serve as the new urban centre for Muscat. The announcement was made at a signing ceremony and joint press conference today at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in Muscat, which was attended by members of the royal family, high-level government officials and senior leadership of OMRAN and Majid Al Futtaim.
This new partnership plays a major role in Oman national economic diversification agenda and reflects OMRAN’s strategic role as a catalyst of investment that forges solid partnerships with trusted developers like Majid Al Futtaim to create sustainable urban destinations and significant socio-economic benefits to the Sultanate.
Madinat Al Irfan is the Sultanate’s largest urban development project and is set to contribute to Oman Vision 2040. The eastern area currently being developed by OMRAN sits alongside Wadi Park just minutes from the newly opened Muscat International Airport. It is a multi-use district adjoining the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC), a world- class venue for international conferences, trade shows and concerts.
The new mixed-use community is located at the western area of Madinat Al Irfan and spans over 48.5 million sqft. The joint venture project investment value is estimated at OMR5 billion over a period of 20 years and is anticipated to create more than 30,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country. Centrally located in Muscat’s urban corridor, the development will become the gateway to Oman; creating a modern downtown for residents, businesses and visitors.
“The development of Madinat Al Irfan is a great addition to Muscat and reflects the vision of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to diversify the Omani economy. The benefits to the local economy and tourism are already being realised, but it will also bring great economic and social benefit to the whole of the Sultanate. The overall scale of the project is unprecedented and directly aligns with the government’s vision to invest in sustainable developments to strengthen and diversify the economy of Oman for the future generations,” states OMRAN chairman, Dr. Ali bin Masoud Al-Sunaidy.
“OMRAN has been entrusted in strengthening and diversifying the national economy to support Oman’s Vision 2040 through pioneering tourism infrastructure and lifestyle development across Oman. In the years to come, Madinat Al Irfan will have major positive national implications, contributing approximately OMR400 million to the local economy. Our partnership with Majid Al Futtaim is a clear demonstration of how OMRAN’s public-private strategic partnership approach is successfully bringing together the highest standards of expertise and quality with local knowledge and passion, which is now resulting in the rapid development of the local tourism industry and economy as a whole. We are already seeing this positive impact at Madinat Al Irfan, with the Oman Exhibition and Conference Centre precinct, which is now making a vital contribution to Oman’s MICE sector, serving as a centrepiece for wide range of major local and international events,” adds Peter Walichnowski, CEO of OMRAN. “Working with the Majid Al Futtaim team I have no doubt we will create a fantastic array of world-class experiences for the benefit of locals, residents and international visitors alike.”
Upon completion in three key stages, Madinat Al Irfan will feature more than 1.07 million sqft of retail space, 11,000 residential units comprising villas, townhouses and apartments and 7.5 million sqft of office space, as well as a number of cultural and lifestyle offerings. The development will serve as an integrated, sustainable and inclusive community, true to the values of Omani society. It will cater to all segments of the local community, providing a model for future urban developments, not just locally, but across the region. It will create a new urban lifestyle not yet seen in the Sultanate.
“I am incredibly proud of the efforts made to seal this partnership and excited by the opportunity given to Majid Al Futtaim to continue playing a key role in Oman’s economic development. Our long-standing commitment to this country has led us to invest OMR705 million and create employment opportunities for more than 42,000 people. We are Oman’s largest non-energy Gulf investor and a long-term contributor to the local economy. We are pleased to partner with OMRAN to unveil our second mixed-use development in the Sultanate and to be part of what is set to be the largest development in Oman, and we look forward to bringing this exciting new community to life, while contributing to Oman’s future growth,” says Alain Bejjani, CEO at Majid Al Futtaim – Holding.
Madinat Al Irfan is poised to be a catalyst for change in Oman, and once completed, will set new benchmarks in sustainability and urban design. Majid Al Futtaim will be responsible for managing the development of all assets as part of the western area of Madinat Al Irfan, cementing its position as a leading community developer in the Sultanate, and unlocking further investment and expansion opportunities. The first phase of the project, scheduled for completion by 2023, will see investment in land infrastructure that will enable the development of mixed-use components.
Madinat Al Irfan will be the second mixed-use community by Majid Al Futtaim in Oman following the unrivalled success of Al Mouj Muscat. Since breaking ground, Al Mouj Muscat has firmly established itself as the leading mixed-use lifestyle destination in the Sultanate, providing the highest standards of community living integrated with quality commercial, retail, hospitality and entertainment offerings. The community is currently home to more than 2,000 families and will include 6,000 residential units, when completed by 2025.
“Oman has become a leading hub for real estate developments, given its growth and diversification agenda. With a proven track record in Al Mouj Muscat, we are taking our approach to placemaking a step forward towards delivering another world-class destination that is human-centric and true to its local culture and heritage. We are confident that Madinat Al Irfan will further strengthen the Sultanate’s reputation as one of the best places to live, work and play in the MENA region,” concludes Hawazen Esber, CEO of Communities at Majid Al Futtaim – Properties.
With a strong presence in Oman for 17 years, Majid Al Futtaim has made other significant strides in the Sultanate, including City Centre Muscat, My City Centre Sur, the first community mall in the Sultanate of Oman; and City Centre Qurum.
Words by Katie Streten Experiential Strategy Director, VMLY&R COMMERCE Throughout the last year,June 13, 2021 | By Shruthi Nair
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