Muscat: The Sultanate will celebrate this year’s Industry Day next week to commemorate the visit of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to Rusayl Industrial City on February 9, 1991. The Sultanate’s Industry Day this year comes at a time that the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (Madayn) is witnessing rising growth rates in various fields, stressed Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, Chief Executive Officer of Madayn.
At the end of the first half of 2018, the total investment volume in the various industrial cities pertaining to Madayn has witnessed a growth of 2.16 per cent compared to the same period in 2017.
The number of workforce in the various industrial cities during the first half of 2018 has touched 56,887 with an Omanisation rate reaching 34 per cent. Moreover, the number of investing projects in their various construction stages during the same period has touched 2,071, of which 1,389 are existing, 368 are under construction and 314 have been allotted with space. The total area of the industrial cities has touched 104,494,694 sqm during the same period with utilisation rate of up to 54 per cent.
The tenders of developing Shinas and Thumrait Industrial Cities will be floated locally and internationally as investment opportunities in the development field. It is also expected that development in Mahas area will commence in addition to other major projects. Al Hasani revealed that there are a number of strategic projects with significant investments in the final stages in Suhar and Sur Industrial Cities. Details will be announced upon completion soon.
In addition to the launch of Madayn brandmark and establishment of Mubadrah, the past year also witnessed major achievements by Madayn. An agreement was signed to develop, construct, and operation management of the sixth and seventh buildings in KOM and multi-level parking project. An agreement was also signed to develop the commercial zone in Al Rusayl Industrial City, in addition to the agreement of the Facility Building in Samail Industrial City. In the area of development, Madayn has commenced developing phase two of Al Mazunah Free Zone, expansion phase of Raysut Industrial City, as well as developing the mountain area and expansions in Al Rusayl Industrial City.
Design works and processing of tender documents for the development of projects in KOM and Al Buraimi, Nizwa and Sur Industrial Cities have been completed. The tenders will be floated in the coming weeks.
During the first half of 2018, Madayn was able to localise more than 130 new projects, Al Hasani informed, adding: “The leased areas for these projects have exceeded 628,000 sqm, and more than 2500 job opportunities were provided. Meanwhile, the preliminary figures for the second half of 2018 indicate a good growth as well.”
He added that in 2019, Samail Industrial City will be officially inaugurated, the development of Phase 7 in Suhar Industrial City will be completed, and the Facility Building in Suhar will also be inaugurated. This year will also witness the commencement of works for the three buildings in KOM and the head office of Madayn. Development works will also begin in Sur, Nizwa and Al Buraimi Industrial Cities.
A history of success
The history of the industrial cities in Oman extends for more than 35 years, Al Hasani emphasised, adding: “The march started in 1983 with the establishment of Al Rusayl Industrial Estate Authority by Royal Decree no. 51/83. The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates – Madayn was established in 1993 by Royal Decree no. 4/93 to complement the march of Al Rusayl Industrial Estate Authority with the objective of planning, establishing, managing and developing the industrial cities across Oman. In order to ensure the continued achievement of specific national objectives, Madayn has developed since 2007 short and medium term strategies to preserve the achievement and aim to further growth,” Al Hasani stated.
He explained that the Public-Private Partnership programme, which Madayn has started to implement in 2018 was not a result of economic challenges or a reaction of surrounding factors, but it is a result of systematic work and efforts spanning nearly ten years. The promulgation of the Royal Decree no. 32/2015, Madayn has become more autonomous to catch up with the speed required to facilitate setting up new industrial projects.“The Royal Decree has provided the legal basis for real partnership with the private sector and enhanced Madayn’s role in investment in the field of development, management, and operation of industrial cities and specialised economic areas. We have also launched the new brandmark ‘Madayn’ with global dimensions, which comes in light of the ongoing efforts of economic diversification in the Sultanate,” Al Hasani pointed out.
Al Hasani added that one of the most important aspects that was organised and re-design its procedural steps was the process of studying investment applications. “The new legislative rules have transformed the policy of approvals into the policy of requirements to accept the investment application. This transformation is facilitating the quick completion of procedural steps in registering the company, signing contracts, and enabling the investor to start contracting with consulting companies and contractors to begin the implementation of the project without the need of waiting for approvals that may continue for more than a year in many cases. At the same time, there is a condition of not practicing the activity unless after obtaining all the necessary and specific licenses. Through following this policy, the investor’s seriousness and financial and practical ability to implement the project are being measured. Additionally, the concerned bodies are also encouraged to speed up their procedures and transactions. Madayn’s Communication and Investors Services Centre follows up the investors’ transactions and work to solve any problems that may face their applications,” Al Hasani said. It should be noted that developers are now granted with usufruct contract for up to 99 years, as Madayn is the first body to offer such a long-time concept.
Oman Investment and Development Holding Company (Mubadrah) represents the main pillar of Public-Private Partnership Programme but it is not the only one, Al Hasani stated. “The programme also comprises the attraction of international developers to the new industrial cities in the Sultanate. The programme also consists of provision of all the governmental services to the developers and investors. The work is currently advanced in all the programme’s stages and results will be announced once completed,” he added.
Highlighting the role played by Mubadrah, Al Hasani said that Mubadrah aims at attracting international developers and operators as per the best practices for the development of industrial cities. He added that a four-year action plan has been placed to transform the industrial cities while ensuring that there will not be any negative impacts on the companies operating in Madayn’s industrial cities. There will also be evaluations and reviews of various aspects to enhance the achievements. He also confirmed that Madayn will launch the Investment Window in all the industrial cities during 2019, which aims at completing investors’ transactions in a fast and effective manner within a relatively short period of time.
Taking into consideration that academia has become essential for sustainable economic and social development of the country, a research chair on industrial cities and free zones have been established at Sultan Qaboos University. Through this agreement, Madaynand SQU seek to stimulate scientific research in the field of industrial cities and free zones, which play a role in the Sultanate’s economic development. “This chair will give a greater understanding of the contemporary economic issues in the Sultanate with regard to industrial cities and free zones,” Al Hasani commented.
Projects an indicators
On their parts, the director generals of Madayn’s industrial cities stated that these cities are currently witnessing the localisation of several vital projects that have economic and social impacts in the various governorates of the Sultanate. Meanwhile, the cities are marking continuous growth in the volume of investments, numbers of projects and workforce, and expansion in areas.
Al Rusayl Industrial City
Eng. Mohsin bin Zahran Al Hinai, Director General of Al Rusayl Industrial City, noted that the cost of the logistics project in Al Rusayl is estimated at a total cost of OMR3.4 million and is located on an area of 500,000 sqm. Al Hinai informed that the project is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2019. The project includes the implementation of roads with a length of 3.5 km and the implementation of infrastructure services (water, electricity, sewage systems, rainwater drainage).
Commenting on the project of developing the entrances of Al Rusayl Industrial City, Al Hinai said, “The project comprises establishing new entrances and exits in order to reduce traffic. Moreover, the current entrance will be rehabilitated as well as the internal roads leading to the industrial city, of which 1.2 km are dual-lane roads, 1.4 kmare single-lane roads, as well as 2 km length of internal roads will be rehabilitated. This project is expected to be completed during the third quarter of 2019 as the tender of implementing the project was refloated and the proposals’ analysis is underway.”
Al Hinai explained that the expansion project of Al Rusayl Industrial City costs around OMR34 million and is located on an area of 2 million sqm. The project includes implementation of roads and infrastructure services such as water and electricity networks, sewage, gas lines, and rainwater drainage. This is expected to be completed during the second half of 2020 as per the agenda submitted by the contractor and the contract is underway to be signed. There is also the project of consultancy services to rehabilitate the infrastructure and develop the industrial city’s masterplan.
By the end of 2018, the total area of Al Rusayl Industrial City has touched nearly 11 million sqm with around 297 projects operating in the city. The total volume of investments in the Al Rusayl Industrial City has reached around OMR707,270,455 and the number of local and foreign workforce is around 21,881.
Samail Industrial City
The infrastructure project of Samail Industrial City has reached its final stages, with a total completion rate of 87.11 per cent. The project is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2019, informed Eng. Dawood bin Salim Al Hadabi, Director General of Samail Industrial City. This project values around OMR40 million. The road works are implemented on a length of 46.290 km in the two phases. It should be noted that the implemented infrastructure services include those related to rainwater, drainage, water, electricity, and telephone networks, a sewage plant with a capacity of 3600 m3 for phase one, and two water tanks each with a capacity of 2500 m3.
Al Hadabi pointed out that during the second half of 2018, the total volume of investments in Samail Industrial City has amounted to OMR120 million. The city has attracted 177 operating and under construction projects, and those allotted with space. “The actual investment volume of operating and under construction projects is estimated at OMR89 million. A total of 35 projects have already commenced actual production,” Al Hadabi said. It is worth mentioning that the workforce in Samail Industrial City has touched around 1,327 and the total area of the city is around 7,674,457 sqm.
The Director General of Samail Industrial City also emphasised that since the establishment of the city, its management has been working with the local community to achieve social responsibility through the existing companies. This has contributed to the assignment of some works to the local companies and the SMEs.
Raysut Industrial City
Hamad bin Hamoud Al Qasabi, Director General of Raysut Industrial City noted that the total cost of the expansion project of the city (Raysut 2) is estimated at OMR4 million for an area of one million square meters. The project includes the establishment of an integrated network of roads, pavements, electricity, water, lighting, drainage system, fire extinguishing systems, irrigation systems. “The project has already been assigned and procedures are underway to sign the contract. The project commenced with the beginning of this year and it shall be implemented within two years from the assigning date,” Al Qasabi said, adding: “By the end of the first half of 2018, the total investment volume of Raysut Industrial City has touched OMR420,687,344 with 194 operating companies, under construction companies and those allotted with space. A total of 3,351 of workforce are working in the city, and the total area of the industrial city has touched 3,810,479 sqm.”
Sur Industrial City
The total cost of the infrastructure development project of Sur Industrial City is estimated around OMR10 million, informed Eng. Abdullah bin Salim Al Kaabi, Director General of Sur Industrial City. “The project will be built on an area of 2.4 million sqm. This will include the design and construction of infrastructure main facilities for the industrial, business, residential and educational blocks in addition to a study on the environmental impact and the security requirements of the city,” Al Kaabi said.He added that the city enjoys a total area of around 36,100,000 sqm, with a total investment volume of around RO 2,034,160,81 have been noted by the second half of 2018. The city is embracing 134 projects, which are operating, under construction and the rest are allotted with space. A total of 4074 of workforce are working in these projects.
Sohar Industrial City
Eng. Abdulqadir bin Salim Al Balushi, Director General of Sohar Industrial City, explained that a contractor has recently been assigned for the supplementary works of Phase 7 development project, which include road works, water networks, sewage networks, sewage treatment plant, rainwater drainage, and security gates. The project, which is valued at a total cost of OMR13 million and executed on an area of 8.5 million sqm, shall be implemented in a period of 15 months. Al Balushi added that there is a consultancy project for the supplementary works of services for phases 1-6 in Sohar Industrial City. The project comprises the development of specifications and terms of reference in preparation for the announcement of the tender, which is estimated to cost around RO 4 million.
Al Balushi said that the total investment volume in the city has touched OMR2,130,281,219 by the end of the first half of 2018. The city has around 343 projects, which include operating projects, under construction projects and those allotted with space. The total number of workforce has amounted to 16,605 and the total area of the city has touched 21,237,225 sqm. It should be noted that the city has recently gotan additional expansion of 8 million sqm. It is hoped that with the increasing volume of investments, more job opportunities for the citizens will be created.
Nizwa Industrial City
Eng. Saleh bin Salman Al Abri, Director General of Nizwa Industrial City said that Madayn is working on two projects in Nizwa Industrial City with a total cost exceeding OMR5.390 million. “The first project is to expand Phases 3 and 4 on an area of 1 million sqm and adding a second entrance to the city. This project will take up to 18 months to be completed. Furthermore, the second project comprises the supplementary works for phases 2 and 3 in addition to sewage plant. This is expected to be completed during the first quarter of the current year,” Al Abri commented.
He added that the indicators of the first half of 2018 show that the total investment volume of the city has touched OMR505,270,783 distributed among 145 projects (operating, under construction and those allotted with space). The number of workforce in the city has reached 5,219 and the total area has touched 3,111,295 sqm.
Al Buraimi Industrial City
On his part, Eng. Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Mayasi, Director General of Al Buraimi Industrial City, said that the implementation of a number of projects valued at OMR5 million have already began in the city. The projects include infrastructure development project on area of 300,000 sqm, establishment of sewage network and sewage plant, in addition to rehabilitation of current services such as roads, rainwater drainage and lighting. The project is expected to be completed by the end of December 2019. “By the end of the first half of 2018, Al Buraimi Industrial City has achieved a total investment volume of around RO 220,466,829 distributed among 370 projects (existing, under construction and those allotted with space). The number of workforce in the city has reached around 1,874 and the total area of the city has touched around 5,561,156 sqm.
Knowledge Oasis Muscat
Nasser bin Mubarak Al Malki, acting Director General of Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM) informed that contracts have been signed with an investor for the construction of the sixth and seventh buildings in KOM. “As for the multi-level parking project, an appropriate area has been allotted in KOM for this project. Determination of the land’s coordinates is underway in coordination with the investor due to the significance the investor is placing on the entrances and exits subject. The contract will be signed once agreed on the coordinates,” Al Malki noted.
With regard to KOM’s masterplan and circular roads tender, the masterplan has been completed before the end of last December, and the tender of circular roads has been handed for announcement. By the end of the first half of 2018, the total investment volume of KOM has touched OMR267,230,631. KOM has around 198 projects (existing, under construction and those allotted with space), and around 5,037 of workforce are working in KOM. The total area of KOM is estimated at 778,602 sqm.
Al Mazunah Free Zone
Said bin Abdullah Al Balushi, supervisor of business processes in Al Mazunah Free Zone informed that Madayn has got a new expansion in the free zone of a total area of approximately 11 million sqm. “The management of the free zone shall study the investment opportunities after finalising the current challenges faced by the free zone,” he pointed out.
By the end of the first half of 2018, the total investment volume in the free zone has amounted to OMR109,831,453. There are around 197 projects in Al Mazunah Free Zone, of which some are existing, under construction and the rest are allotted with space. The number of workforce working in these projects have reached 384, while the total area of the free zone is around 15,362,305 sqm. There are also 46 investment applications under verification and study.
Shumookh Investment and Services
Commenting on the major projects undertaken by Shumookh Investment & Services SAOC, the investment arm of Madayn, Musallam Al Hudaifi, CEO of Shumookh Investment & Services said that the Facility Building in Samail Industrial City has been designed to offer the best services that meet the requirements of the industrial cities and the emerging market. The building will be built on an area of 17871 sqm at a cost exceeding OMR4 million. Designed in a modern architectural style with a traditional Omani architectural touch, the building will consist of 8 floors. The tender of the project’s establishment has already been announced and the proposals have been reviewed. The awarding of the tender is expected to happen by the beginning of the current year.
Meanwhile, Al Hudaifi noted that Al Rusayl Industrial City will be transformed into a dynamic centre with integrated and high quality services and facilities in line with the international standards. “The masterplan has been developed on an area of 28,759 sqm, which will be developed in three phases. The first phase will see the development of the Facility Building in Al Rusayl; the second phase will comprise the development of services buildings like hotel, exhibition hall, conference hall, lecture hall and parkings; while the third phase will see the development of the commercial zone in Al Rusayl,” Al Hudaifi pointed out.