Muscat: Local engineers describe the new Muscat International Airport as a symbol of balance between Omani identity and modern architecture.
Saif Al Hinai, head of project development at Omran Architecture, said: “The overall architecture of the new building combines traditional architecture with a modern appearance, reflecting the Sultanate’s approach to preserving its heritage, while looking forward to the future. The result is a building that matches the largest airports in its architecture.”
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With nearly 45 years between the old and the new Muscat International Airport, many consider the wait to be worth it.
“This project was a much-awaited project as the government had begun implementing its economic diversification plan of shifting the country’s dependence on oil as a revenue source to other sources, including logistics and tourism,” Mohammed Al Salmi, a civil engineer, told The Times of Oman.
Al Hinai added: “Everyone was looking forward to the opening of the new Muscat airport project. The project is an architectural icon that touches on the Omani identity and will have a positive impact on the Sultanate’s marketing, internally and globally at an architectural level.”
According to Al Salmi, the new Muscat International Airport is “the nation’s beautiful gateway”.
The passenger terminal covers a total area of 580,000 square metres and is equipped with the latest technology and state-of-the-art facilities.
Al Salmi explained: “The new airport has adopted a progressive level of automation and digitalisation, the baggage handling system at the new airport will be fully automated. There are also a number of self-service check-in kiosks installed near the check-in counters.
“The testing and commissioning of the airport were done according to the best international standards, as the public was engaged and familiarised with the building, its facilities, and of course, the safety features and procedures”
He added: “The development of a country is often measured by the infrastructural facilities it has to provide to residents, as well as tourists. This measure of judgment, needless to say, begins at the airport.” Considering the airport is usually the first face of a country for foreigners, its design plays an important role in leaving a good first impression.
“We are very proud of the new airport building. It is a great engineering landmark. It is very exciting to see its positive effects in pushing development in the Sultanate to the next stage,” said Talal Al Masoudi, Sr. Development Manager in Omran.
“The new Muscat International Airport is considered one of the most important infrastructure projects in the Sultanate’s diversification strategies and a strong supporter of increasing the contribution of sectors such as aviation and tourism to the national economy,” said Al Masoudi.
The new design of the airport has provided all the services and latest technologies for passengers and airlines with the flexibility to increase its current capacity of 20 million passengers,” said Al Masoudi.
“The massive size and extravagance of the airport will promote active tourism by hosting more people and more destinations. The overall airport concept is a signature building type of 21-century designs trends; passengers will be inspired, yet also reassured,” added Al Salmi.