Oman set to roll out big-money projects

SEVERAL projects are taking shape in the Sultanate of Oman, including the banner $15bn Blue City.
Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort

Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa
Set in 124 acres of landscaped gardens, Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa is located on Oman’s staggeringly beautiful coastline and surrounded by dramatic rock formations.

The 680-bedroom five-star resort complex comprises of three separate hotels, Al Waha (now open), Al Bandar (scheduled to open early 2006) and Al Husn (to open in April 2006). 
The resort includes an Omani Heritage Village, Shangri-La’s own Chi Spa with 12 treatment rooms, 19 food and beverage outlets that range from family style outlets with fast food options to chic casual eateries and elegant fine dining options, 11 meeting rooms, and a ballroom to seat 700 banquet style, every need and taste is catered for.

Blue City
The Blue City project is the biggest urban and lifestyle development scheme in the entire Gulf region. The 35 sqkm city is centred at Al Sawadi on the Omani coast some 100 kilometres northwest of the capital Muscat. Developed by Al Sawadi Investment and Tourism Co. (ASIT), the project will take 15 years and $15 billion to complete over several phases. When completed, the Blue City will house some 250,000 people and bring in two million tourists a year.
Phase One of this visionary project focuses on 5.5 sq km and will incorporate three five-star hotels each with private beaches, marinas and comprehensive sports, leisure and wellness facilities, all located along the beachfront as well as thousands of touristy and permanent residences, two PGA world class golf courses, a tourist village, a heritage village, a shopping complex, an amphitheatre, a city hall and all associated amenities such as a primary school, a nursery and kindergarten, a health centre, a police station, a post office and a mosque.
The first hotel is being developed by world-famous hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray, who shot to fame in 1998 when he opened London’s leading luxury business hotel One Aldwych followed by another on the Caribbean island of Antigua, The Carlisle Bay. The proposed luxury beachfront hotel will have a site area of 33,500 sqm with overall development costs put at $60 million. The hotel will offer 121 rooms to the world’s highest luxury standards and will train and offer employment for up to 350 people. It is scheduled to open in the winter of 2008/9.

The Wave
The Wave, Muscat, is the first major integrated resort and residential development to be located on the beachfront in the greater Muscat region. It will be a fully master-planned community occupying a total area of 2,500,000 sqm along seven kilometres of natural beach.
The $1 billion mixed-use project will have a signature 18-hole green golf course being developed by Greg Norman as well as a harbour front village fronting towards a 300 berth marina. The tourism component of the project will contain four luxury hotels and waterfront retail with the ambiance of al fresco dining. The residential component will contain a mix of quality villas, townhouses and apartments and some of these will be waterfront and beachfront. Only 20 minutes drive from downtown Muscat, it offers its residents easy access to the major shopping centres, hospitals and the international airport. It is anticipated that the entire construction will take approximately six years. It is is being developed through a joint venture between the Omani government and Majid Al Futtaim Investments.

By Kavita Pandit