Muscat: Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) and real estate giant Majid Al Futtaim laid the foundation of OMR5 billion Madinat Al Irfan project on Wednesday.
The foundation ceremony was held under the auspices of Sayyid Khalid bin Hilal Al Busaidi, Minister of the Diwan of the Royal Court. Madinat Al Irfan Development Company S.A.O.C. will be the joint venture company between Omran and Majid Al Futtaim.
The company, which has been established to oversee the development and delivery of the new city, has a newly formed board of eight members, chaired by Talal Al Rahbi, Deputy Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Planning in the Sultanate.
Peter Walichnowski, CEO of Omran, said that their partnership with Majid Al Futtaim is in line with the strategic approach of bringing together the highest standards of expertise in quality development with genuine local heritage and passion.
“This partnership will strongly contribute to the strengthening and diversification of the national economy to support Oman’s Vision 2040 through pioneering tourism infrastructure and lifestyle development. By partnering with Majid Al Futtaim, I have no doubt that we will create a fantastic array of world-class experiences for the benefit of the local community and international visitors alike,” Walichnowski added.
The two institutions collaborated this year to work together on this project that would be a mixed-use community, similar to Al Mouj Muscat, besides being the Sultanate’s largest urban development project that would create a new downtown area for the Muscat capital district.
“We are very proud today to have the foundation ceremony for this beautiful joint venture in our great site. It is a very strategic site for the city of Muscat and for Oman in general, as well as Majid Al Futtaim.
“This is a 5 million square metre project and today we have laid the foundation of phase 1 of the project which is 250,000 square metres. The total project will include roughly 11,000 residential units of all kinds, including apartments, townhouses and villas, and will also include roughly 70,000 square metres of retail and more than 400,000 square metres of office space. We basically want to become the new downtown of Muscat,” said Hawazen Esber, Chief Executive Officer of Majid Al Futtaim – Communities.
Madinat Al Irfan – City for the Future would come up adjacent to the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre over a 20-year period in stages.
“We have just embarked on phase 1 today, which should be ready in five years. It is 250,000 square metres of service land; we might potentially develop a part of it but it is also open to Omani and non-Omani sub-developers, as well as SMEs. The phases will be developed according to the market requirements, and functions and uses will also be defined through them,” Esber said.
He added that he was very positive about the market and that this new joint venture was going to be another successful project.
“We are heavily invested in Oman as we believe in this market and we already had our first joint venture, Al Mouj Muscat, which is very successful for us; this is again going to be another successful partnership with the Omani government,” Esber added.