Muscat: A world-class multi-cluster 1.5 million square meter entertainment and leisure theme park will be built in Barka, Muscat National Development Company SAOC (ASAAS), said.
It will boast an integrated theme park, a wildlife and waterpark, an equestrian center and edutainment center as well as multiple hotels, a residential zone and retail areas that will offer a range of retail, leisure and dining options, according to developers.
“The result of extensive local and regional research and consultation, this entertainment and leisure destination, in common with all ASAAS projects and investments, will support the Sultanate’s agenda to diversify the economy and drive societal progress,” Eng. Khalid Al Yahmadi, ASAAS CEO, said.
“It will, without a doubt, add new vitality and impetus to Barka and the surrounding area but the immense scale of the destination means that its impact will extend well beyond the immediate vicinity of its operations. Indeed, benefiting the country as a whole, it will deliver sustainable economic returns, attract investment, stimulate development and enterprise, and create a multitude of direct and indirect job opportunities,” he added.
Muscat Finance Corporation Limited (MFCL) has transferred, through one of its group companies, the plot of 1.5 million square meters in its project, previously known as Blue City, to ASAAS.
ASAAS has identified a renowned American company based out of Orlando, Florida to operate the theme park and wildlife park and that the names of other partners in this mega-project will be announced in the near future.
“The family-oriented destination in Barka will be able to strongly communicate its unique offerings to the public and also leverage the beauty of the natural landscape to showcase Oman’s heritage and traditions, honouring local culture and history through its design, architecture and activities,” Khalid added.
Built on a high-profile premium destination stretching approximately one kilometer on the beach front, the project will offer both lifestyle and educational aspects for children and adults.
Among other attractions, visitors will enjoy an innovative learning-focused dimension will be the Interactive Science and Technology Edutainment Centre, designed to be an inspirational knowledge hub for Oman’s young demographic.
In addition, celebrating Oman’s famed horsemanship will be an Equestrian Centre.
Planned to be the main center for equestrian sports in the country, it will include a riding academy and show jumping and livery facilities along with dedicated shops and food outlets.
The destination’s Masterplanner is Surbana Jurong, one of Asia’s largest urban and infrastructure development Consultants.
Headquartered in Singapore, Surbana Jurong has a global workforce of 13,000 employees in over 95 offices across 40 countries in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.
ASAAS, found in 2014 through the concerted efforts of key government entities and Pension Funds, aims to increase the economic contributions of the non-oil and gas sectors by initiating and developing sustainable projects to meet the needs of the public and enrich life in Oman.
Over the next five to 10 years it will develop a diverse portfolio of projects worth approximately OMR1 billion, which will contribute to the country’s economic diversification strategy and connect the people to the national agenda.
The Barka Entertainment and Leisure Destination is a key project to be launched by ASAAS and follows on from its establishment of SalamAir, Oman’s first budget airline, the announcement of Hilton Garden Inn and of a multi-use facility in Al Khuwair.