Muscat: Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITC) in Oman will be home to many nationals in the future, predicts Hawazen Esber, CEO of The Wave, Muscat.
Revealing that 45 per cent of The Wave buyers are Omanis and 55 per cent are local and international expatriate investors, Hawazen said, "This means that with the right product, ITCs can attract a wide range of investors, though Omani investors will remain the most important. It is even more encouraging and makes The Wave, Muscat as a community even more sustainable. This completely changes our perception that ITCs are enclaves for merely expatriates. To the contrary, with organic growth, ITCs will actually be home to many Omanis for generations to come."
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Hawazen was speaking at the inaugural Oman Real Estate Conference & Expo 2014 held under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Shihab bin Tariq Al Said, adviser to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Said.
Outlining the opportunities and challenges facing Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITCs) in Oman for the benefit of over 150 industry professionals present, Hawazen said, "Well-planned long-term government initiatives and investments, sound financial policies adopted by the Central Bank of Oman and increased demand along with population growth, has created opportunities for the ITC markets to thrive."
Hawazen also addressed the need for ITCs to become more creative and introduce new concepts whether on the assets side such as serviced apartments, office parks, or on the lifestyle side such as indoor and outdoor entertainment or culture related activities.
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"Demand for better integrated living environments and communities for Omanis has never been greater. The local development industry can learn from the existing ITCs to improve the amenities in their projects and not rely on local authorities to deliver," he suggested.
The CEO of The Wave feels elements such as parks, walkways and play equipment are a substantial attraction for young families.
"Rather than relying on local authorities to deliver, this is an essential part of the developer's plans from day one," he said.
Stressing that governments and developers also need to work hand in hand to provide special incentives for Omani Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs), he said, "ITCs will support these very promising local SMEs to develop their ideas and businesses instead of giving all the commercial opportunities away to international players when there is a rich source of authentic ideas within Oman."