Muscat: With the opening of Oman’s most anticipated contemporary shopping destination — Al Araimi Boulevard, 3,000 jobs have been created for the nationals of the country.
Speaking to Times of Oman, Sheikh Mohamed Al Araimi, Board Member at Al Raid Group, said: “Al Araimi Boulevard has provided 3,000 jobs to the Omani public—direct and indirect jobs. The complete hierarchy in the mall is citizens and it is run by an Omani CEO. It has a 100 per cent Omani operation with the exception of the cleaning staff who are foreigners.”
“We have placed a very strong focus on local SMEs and we try to incubate and promote them as much as we can, and also by providing opportunities. For example, the art exhibition that was on display today was by one of the SMEs, which we invited for the opening free of charge.”
“It provides many opportunities for consumers to come and enjoy themselves in terms of retail and entrainment as well. There are many dining facilities, cinemas, among others.
The integrated shopping destination, located in Mabella, was officially opened under the patronage of His Highness Sayyid Harib bin Thuwaini Al Said yesterday. It has an investment of OMR100 million and an area of 187,000 sqm that provides an ideal shopping experience with more than 200 stores. “We all are quite excited as this is a new milestone in the retail sector for Oman. Al Araimi Boulevard combines not only retail but also entertainment and provides so many options for Omani consumers. The doors are open for all,” Al Araimi said.
The shopping destination houses up to 20 restaurants and 10 3D screens. The mall consists of two floors, providing space for water features, fountains and other features, such as green landscaped areas. It also has a large glass dome that allows daylight to enter while cutting out the heat.
Talking about future projects, the Board Member said that there is another project coming up in Barka in 2020, which is going to be “better than this one”.
“Al Araimi Walk, a new project, is coming up in Barka hopefully and the excavation will start in the coming few weeks.
“It is expected to be completed in the similar time frame of two years just like the current mall. And, in my opinion, it is going to better than this one. You have to wait and see.”
Present at the event, the Chairman of Al Raid Group, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Araimi, emphasised the significance and importance of these projects in the efforts exerted for the enhancement of the retail and tourism sectors. He has also pointed out that the Al Araimi Boulevard meets the anticipations of citizens and expats to create spaces for entertainment, recreation and shopping in a modern and innovative style.
The Chairman added that Al Raid Group is going forward and proceeding with the establishment of commercial, leisure and tourist projects and facilities, after having apportioned over OMR400 million over five years to be invested in these sectors, which witness an increasing growth in the country.