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Omran signs PPM deal for Muscat project

DUBAI, September 7, 2016

Omran, the master developer of luxury projects in Oman, said it has signed an initial private placement memorandum (PPM) agreement for the development of the Madinat Al Irfan Urban Centre project in Muscat.

The signing of the agreement has been a successful first stage of the company's public-private sector partnership approach.

Omran said two pension funds have invested a total of 20 per cent in the new Crowne Plaza property, a part of Phase One of the Madinat Al Irfan Urban Centre.

This kind of public-private sector co-operation is vital when it comes to developments on the scale of Madinat Al Irfan, said a top official.

"The breadth of what the project will offer residents and visitors alike will come to fruition through investment from both public and private sector organisations," stated Salah bin Salim Al Ghazali, the chief investment officer, Omran.

According to him, Omran has invested significantly in Phase One of Al Irfan to create a robust foundation for growth of the site, providing low-risk options for private sector investment.

"Great progress is being made at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) and surrounding precinct, and as the Crowne Plaza demonstrates, the private sector is investing in building this momentum now that assets are on the ground," observed Al Ghazali.

The Public Authority for Social Insurance and the Sultan Special Force pension funds both expressed an interest in participation in Phase One of Madinat Al Irfan, and when offered the Crowne Plaza proposition both chose to invest, taking a total of 20 per cent of the purchase between them, he added.

On track to open next year, the Crowne Plaza at the OCEC is one of several assets offered for investment in response to private sector interest in involvement with Phase One of the Madinat Al Irfan development.

"We had indicated an interest in investing in the major developments Omran and the Ministry of Tourism was planning, so the offer of an investment in the initial phase of Madinat Al Irfan was an attractive one," remarked Sheikh Ghasan Khamis Al Hashar, the investment director of Public Authority of Social Insurance.

"The investment proposition was low risk because Omran had done a lot of the development work already, including the award of contract and the financing, so this was a robust choice for us to participate in the flagship project," stated Al Hashar.

According to him, Madinat Al Irfan Urban Centre is a milestone project in Oman, and one which will have far reaching benefits for residents.

"We saw this as a fantastic opportunity to become involved, and with the socio-economic benefits linked to the project, it aligned perfectly with our investment objectives," he added.

Part of Al Irfan Phase One, the Crowne Plaza will be a four-star hotel with 296 rooms, offering visitors a comprehensive experience including varied food and beverage (F&B) outlets as well as a health and leisure club. Its proximity to the OCEC will make it an ideal choice for business travellers.

Al Ghazali pointed out that Omran has saved RO1.5 million ($3.88 million) on construction costs of the Crowne Plaza project to date.

"And since Madinat Al Irfan’s Mulkhiya (title deed) was recently transferred by the Oman Ministry of Tourism to Omran, the company has increased its use of Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) as a key approach in developing the project," he said.

The phase also includes the luxury JW Marriott hotel, a five-star, 304 key property with full amenities for guests.

Both properties will be part of the OCEC precinct, the key initial asset in the first phase of Al Irfan. Both hotels and the convention centre are on track to open next year, with the OCEC exhibition halls set to open later this month, he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Muscat | Crowne Plaza | agreement | Omran | urban centre |

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