The new stadium will be built next to the existing Oman Cricket Academy Grounds and close to Al Amerat Club.
In an exclusive interview with Times of Oman, the OHA chairman, Dr Marwan Juma al Juma, confirmed that the new stadium will host the inaugural FIH Hockey5s World Cups (Men and Women) to be played in January 2024. “The inaugural edition of
the Hockey 5s World Cup was initially scheduled to take place at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex in Bausher. In fact, the designs for the expansion of the hockey arena at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex were approved and work was due to begin. However, there has been a change in the plans for the good of the game.”
Al Juma, who recently became the first Omani to be elected as vice-president of the Asian Hockey Federation (AHF), said: “The decision to build a new venue for the Hockey 5s World Cup came at the behest of the Minister of Culture , Sports and Youth (MCSY), His Highness Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said.”
“The green signal for a new stadium at Al Amirat will fulfill the long-awaited dream of hockey lovers in the Sultanate of Oman,” added Al Juma.
The top OHA official said: “Given the fact that it is the inaugural edition of the FIH Hockey 5s World Cup, which Oman won after a tight bid, His Highness Sayyid Theyazin wanted that Oman leaves a big impression on the sporting map of the hockey world.”
Al Juma added: “The world-class stadium in Al Amirat will mark a new chapter in Oman's rich and glorious history of the game. The hockey arena will be a turning point for Oman hockey. The construction of the stadium will feature one full-fledged hockey pitch (11-a-side) and a five-a-side pitch for the World Cup and will have a capacity of 5,500 seats.
The state-of-the-art hockey arena will also get the second full-fledged floodlit astro-turf pitch after the conclusion of the Hockey 5s World Cup. Once completed, the venue will serve as a destination for bigger tournaments and international camps.”
We will also promote it as a neutral venue for top Asian teams like India and Pakistan. The long-term strategy is to make Oman a hockey hub in the region. My role as an Asian Hockey Federation vice-president is also to grow the game in the GCC countries and Middle East nations like Jordan and Lebanon. The hockey arena will act as a perfect platform to develop and promote the game,” Al Juma said.
The OHA president opined that “the proximity of the hockey arena to Oman Cricket Academy grounds will be a great advantage.”
He said: “We witnessed how Oman hogged the limelight when it hosted the ICC T20 World Cup in 2021. It was a proud moment for the Sultanate to have the T20 World Cup opening ceremony and the event begins in Oman. We will now try to make the FIH Hockey 5s a bigger success.”
Al Juma said: “Plans are in place to work closely with Oman Cricket to further enhance the facilities in Al Amerat. We are keen to have a top-class accommodation facility for the visiting teams and owe to proximity, both Oman Hockey and Oman Cricket can have a common place. We may also see more sports federations come on board in the development of Al Amerat as a sports city with swimming pool, indoor and an integrated complex likely to come up in the future with the ministry's land in the adjoining areas.”
Al Juma thanked the support of Muscat and Al Amerat municipalities with the work to level the area already begun for the construction of the new stadium.