Omagine plans new tourism project

Omani government and developer Omagine are expected to sign a usufruct agreement on the $2.5-billion Omagine Project on July 1, paving the way for the development of Oman’s latest waterfront tourism project, a report said.

This follows the signing of a pact last year between the Omani government and the developer, a subsidiary of US-based Omagine, according to the Muscat Daily report.

The DA, which allows the government and Omagine to enter into a usufruct agreement, was ratified by the Ministry of Finance in March of this year, the report stated.

The Omagine Project will come up on one million sq m of beachfront land in Seeb, facing the Gulf of Oman just west of the capital Muscat and six miles from Muscat International Airport.

The ambitious development will be designed, developed and operated by Omagine.

The signing of the DA and usufruct agreement, which will take place in Muscat, grants Omagine usufruct rights over land constituting the Omagine site, which includes the right to sell such land, said the report.

The term of the usufruct agreement is 50 years (with five years free of rent) and the RO20,250 ($5,460) usufruct registration fee, which Omagine will pay the Ministry of Housing, is based on the 45-year term of the usufruct agreement on which rent is payable, the report added.

The Omagine Project is planned to be an integration of cultural, heritage, entertainment and residential components including a high-culture theme park containing seven pearl-shaped buildings, each 60 ft in diameter.

It will also include associated exhibition buildings, a boardwalk, an open-air amphitheatre and stage; open space green areas; a canal and an enclosed harbour and marina area; associated retail shops and restaurants, said the report.

The development will also feature entertainment venues, boat slips, and docking facilities; a five-star resort hotel, a four-star resort hotel and possibly a three or four-star hotel; commercial office buildings; shopping and retail establishments, and approximately 2,100 residences.

Earlier this year, Omagine Inc said the construction contract for the project was expected to be signed with Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC)-Oman by the end of this month.

Omagine LLC is 60 per cent owned by Omagine Inc with Royal Court Affairs holding 25 per cent, and the remaining 15 per cent owned by two subsidiaries of Consolidated Contractors International Company.