Muscat: A major contract for building a 3,100-seat capacity main auditorium and banquet halls, part of the prestigious Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) project, will be awarded sometime in October-November period this year.
Contracting firms have given time up to June 25 for submitting their financial bids, which will be evaluated by authorities for selecting the right company, said Ahmed El Hassan, senior director, project management of Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran).
Apart from the main auditorium, the scope of work of the construction package (three) includes a secondary auditorium of approximately 450 seats, two ball rooms, specialty food court outlets, 20 meeting rooms of different sizes, general administration areas, roads and other facilities.
The financial bid for two hotels, which are also part of the massive Oman convention centre, might have opened on Thursday, he added, while making a presentation on the status of the project during a site visit. These hotels are J W Marriot (a five star) and Crown Plaza Hotel (a four-star). The contracts for these hotels will be awarded within eight weeks.
As per the plan, the exhibition halls will be opened by 2016, while remaining facilities will be opened for visitors in 2017. J W Marriot and Crown Plaza are planned to coincide with the opening of the exhibition centre in 2017.
The OCEC, one of the very few convention centres in the world to be developed within a fully integrated convention precinct, is supported by a five-star, two four star and a three star hotel, totalling 1,000 rooms, a shopping mall and commercial business park, which is four kilometres from Muscat International airport. Apart from J W Marriot and Crown Plaza hotels, there will be two more hotels – a four star and a three star.
Elaborating on the large size of the exhibition centre, officials said that the exhibition hall will have 22,000 square metres of space, which can be divided into separate exhibition halls and each one has its own registration area. Work is going on for the exhibition hall, which was the first large building package and includes a car park, a district cooling plant and ancillary buildings, added Ahmed.
Apart from a large auditorium, there will be two ball rooms and 14 meeting rooms capable of seating between 70 and 360 delegates.
"We have a business park, which will house headquarters of Omran and Oman Telecommunications Company. We also have a super mall, which will be developed in association with Al Futtaim. And we will have Ikea as part of the mall." Ahmed said the remaining contracting packages like building for staff accommodation will be floated towards the end of the year. Tenders for business park buildings will also be floated by next year.
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