Omran launches expo centre project
Muscat, January 3, 2011
Omran, the tourism development and investment arm of Sultanate of Oman, formally broke ground on its ambitious exhibition centre project to be developed in the capital Muscat.
Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre will boast of an auditorium with total seating capacity for 3,000 people, exhibition halls with 25,000 sq m exhibition space and with the ability to seat 10,000 people in the first phase.
Located just four kilometres from Muscat airport, the centre will act as a gateway to the Sultanate's capital and is aimed at helping Muscat become a regional destination for the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) sector, providing an additional boost to Oman’s fast-growing tourism industry.
The development will also have banquet halls, meeting space, 85,000 sqm of office space in a grade-A business park, four hotels with a total of 1,000 rooms and a large shopping mall.
Its landmark design will draw on Oman’s strong cultural heritage and architectural traditions, taking full advantage of the natural beauty of its surroundings.
It is the Sultanate's first international-standard convention centre which represents a major investment by Omran, mandated by the government to deliver major projects and manage tourism assets and investments.
The foundation stone for the centre was laid by Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, Oman Minister of Economy and deputy chairman of Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council, in the presence of Dr. Rajiha bin AbdulAmeer bin Ali, Minister of Tourism and chairperson of Omran and other officials.
“This facility will allow Oman to become a major new destination for conferences, exhibitions and other major business events. These will have a major impact on our economy in the future, creating many hundreds of jobs for Omanis and attracting hundreds of thousands of business travellers each year,” said Macki.
Dr bin Ali said the Centre represented an important element of Oman’s tourism strategy.
“Over recent years, Oman has taken major strides forward in attracting tourists to our many leisure resorts and hotels. Our strategy has always been to target the business sector too and this investment will provide us with an outstanding venue for conferences and exhibitions,” he added.
Wael bin Ahmed Al Lawati, CEO of Omran, said, “We have completed many important stages of the design and planning work for the centre and we are delighted to have started work on site. We have been given an ambitious timeline to complete the first phase of the project but as we showed with the site for the Asian Beach Games, we can rise to the challenge.'
“We commit to delivering a facility which will make Oman proud; one which will stand against the very best convention centres in the world,” he added.
State-of-the-art conference and exhibition facilities will be complemented by four hotels, including a five star flagship property, two four star hotels and a boutique three star accommodation.
A master-planner and developer, Omran, was set up to deliver major real estate, hospitality and joint venture projects across Oman, in support of the nation’s long term economic strategy, ‘Vision 2020’, which sees tourism sector as a key contributor.-TradeArabia News Service