Muscat: As the Sultanate forges ahead with plans for economic diversification, its master development and tourism company (Omran) leads the front in fuelling expansion of the country’s tourism and real estate infrastructure, developing hotels, beach resorts, waterfronts and master planning communities.
In order to highlight key investment opportunities for the local and international business community, one of Omran’s initiatives is the upcoming Oman Economic Forum to be held on March 23 and 24.
Entitled “Oman-A Bridge Between Asia and the GCC,” the event is being organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group, in cooperation with the State General Reserve Fund.
Omran will present to 500 regional and international investors attending the event, in addition to delegates from 100 global sovereign investment funds at the Co-Investment Roundtable of Sovereign and Pension Funds (CROSAPF) conference that coincides with the forum. There will also be delegations from China, Japan, Iran, Turkey and other Asian countries.
Omran is set to identify specific investment opportunities within the $800 million investment it is making in its upcoming landmark development–Madinat Al Irfan Urban City located next to the Muscat International Airport. Investment opportunities offered will include commercial and office buildings, retail malls, district cooling plants, hotel plots, recreational and civic facilities, along with residential and hotel developments.
The first phase of the mixed-use development will be held at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre that is scheduled to opening in fourth quarter of 2016. The rest of the Madinat Al Irfan project is being developed following rigorous master planning by Omran to become a benchmark for future sustainable urban developments across the Sultanate and generate significant inbound revenues and increase capital retention within the local economy.
Commenting on the forum’s significance within the context of economic diversification, Salah Al Ghazali, chief investment officer, Omran, said, “This forum will be a good platform to discuss the Sultanate’s plan for economic diversification and investment opportunities across various sectors. It is a key indicator of how Omran, in line with the government’s ninth Five-Year Plan and its national tourism strategy, is working closely with the private sector to develop unique tourist and real-estate destinations and innovative urban communities.”
The event is also expected to draw investor interest to Omran’s Muscat Waterfront, Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront project, which is described as an integrated mixed use waterfront destination benchmarked against renowned developments, such as the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and the Palm Jumeira in Dubai.
“Omran will showcase business opportunities for the Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront before the audience. Our investment team will be fully present to actively engage with prospective investors,” Al Ghazali emphasised.
Some key topics that the forum will address are Oman’s economic outlook, key investment projects in Oman, financial strategies for the future, the importance of economic zones and logistic cities as economic growth catalysts and attracting overseas investments, particularly from Asia and Iran.