Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran)signed a partnership agreement with Majid Al Futtaim, leading real estate developer in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for developing the second phase of ‘Madinat Al Irfan’ project in Muscat with an investment of around RO5bn.
The announcement was made at an event held at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre (OCEC) in the presence of ministers, government officials and senior officials of both organisations.
“Madinat Al Irfan is the sultanate’s largest urban development project. The eastern area or the phase 1 is currently being developed by Omran itself. Located close to the newly opened Muscat International Airport, phase 1 consists of OCEC along with two five star hotels, office spaces, and other such areas, which are currently being developed,” said Peter Walichnowski, CEO of Omran while speaking at the event.
“Now Majid Al Futtaim has shown interest in developing the western area of Madinat Al Irfan, which spans over 4.5mn sqm. The joint venture project’s investment value is estimated at RO5bn over a period of 20 years and is anticipated to create more than 30,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country,” said Walichnowski.
He said, upon completion in three key stages, Madinat Al Irfan will feature more than 11,000 residential units comprising villas, townhouses and apartments, 100,000sqm of retail space, 700,000sqm of office space, as well as a number of cultural and lifestyle offerings.
On finance, Alain Bejjani, chief executive officer at Majid Al Futtaim said, they will be using mix of equity, debt, strategic partnership and sale of land to others, to finance the project. He, however, declined to give further details but said they are planning to initiate the ground work by the end of this year after which other details regarding roping in investors or strategic partners will be discussed with Omran.
Bejjani said, 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. 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,” He said.