ETN Government-owned Oman Tourism Development Company (OTDC) and Egypt’s Orascom unveiled here last week the master plan for the prestigious US$600 million joint venture — Muriya.
On behalf of the government, OTDC has picked a 30 per cent stake in the new tourism venture and Egypt’s Orascom 70 percent. Besides Oman, Orascom has a large number of ambitious projects in Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Switzerland and Mauritius.
Oman’s leading asset management company Fincorp is the financial adviser for this project. Muriya will create a tourist destination, endowed with the flavor of Oman’s diversified nature and culture. The master plan includes development of Wadi Al Qurum, Salalah, Sifah and Al Soda Island.
“We are committed to fully exploit the Sultanate’s tourism potential, which will help stimulate long-term economic development,” Dr. Rajiha bint Abdul Amir bin Ali, tourism minister, told the Times of Oman.
Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, minister of national economy and deputy chairman of the Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council; His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, minister of heritage and culture; Maqbool bin Ali Sultan, minister of commerce and industry; and several royal family members and industry captains attended the unveiling ceremony at the Grand Hyatt Muscat.
“We endeavor to promote tourism in a big way that could generate more job opportunities for nationals. We are confident that projects such as Muriya will give a big boost to the domestic tourism industry,” said Rajiha, who is also the chairperson of OTDC.
“Promotion of hygiene and health has always been a priority for Oman, and development of world-class tourism infrastructure plays a crucial role in economic growth,” she pointed out.
“Muriya is fully committed to preserving the natural treasures of Oman. The long-term plan is to develop unique resorts at four select locations including Wadi Al Qurum, Salalah, Sifah and Al Soda Island,” said Orascom chief Samih Sawiris.
Muriya proposes to transform Qurum into a classy township by upgrading its status as the hub of the city, involving an elegant 250-room six-star hotel; an old Omani souq, linked to a 35,000 square meters shopping mall; a 35,000 square meters office building to house the most reputable local and foreign companies; and a retail pedestrian street — promenade — packed with exclusive brand outlets, cafes and restaurants, a six-screen cinema theatre, under ground parking garage, to name a few. There will be two bridges crossing the wadi.
Oman’s capital city, Muscat has been a major destination for business and leisure travelers for the last 10 years or so. In fact, Oman, the second largest country in the Arabian Peninsula offers a unique opportunity for business and leisure travelers to experience the Arabian hospitality at its best.
In Salalah, Muriya proposes five hotels having the status of 4-6 stars. The area will have inland marina and marina towns, comprising luxurious real estate apartments. An 18-hole golf course and water sports and tracks for horse and camel riding will also be developed in the area.
In Sifah, the company proposes to build four hotels having 4-6 star grades. An 18-hole golf course and water sports and tracks for horse and camel riding will also be developed in the area. In Al Soda Island, a luxurious boutique resort with seven-star facilities will be developed.