Construction & Real Estate

Enabling work in full swing at Oman's Sultan Haitham City

Enabling works for Phase One of the ambitious Sultan Haitham City project in Muscat are well advanced, according to a key official of Oman’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MoHUP), which is spearheading the project.
In an exclusive interview with Gulf Construction’s Bina Goveas, Alhassan Al Shukairi, Architectural Engineer at MoHUP’s Sultan Haitham City Technical Office, reveals: “The enabling works for Phase One are 70 per cent complete, with work on infrastructure due to start imminently.”
The Sultan Haitham City project aims to pioneer a new paradigm of sustainable city building, blending the rich heritage of Muscat with contemporary urban planning principles. Embracing the ethos of organic growth and resilience, the city intends to address pressing challenges such as urban sprawl and climate change by shifting towards human-centric ecosystems, Al Shukairi emphasises.
Sultan Haitham City is envisioned as a 21st-Century urban development, integrating sustainability and advanced city planning principles. The masterplan seeks to transform urban living by reducing reliance on private cars, promoting mixed-use developments, and enhancing public transport and walkability. The project will emphasise green spaces, efficient resource usage, and resilience to climate change.
Phase One of the four-phase project commenced this year and is slated for completion by 2030. This phase, which spans over 5.5 million sq m, includes six neighbourhoods with over 7,600 residential units. Key features include a major park spread over 1.64 million sq m, an experience centre, a public university, three school clusters, a health district, a cultural centre a youth centre, and a large mosque. The development emphasises green areas, with 3 million sq m dedicated to parks and other green spaces.
A meticulously planned timeline outlines subsequent phases that stretch from 2024 to 2045.
The city’s design incorporates numerous passive design strategies to enhance sustainability. These include compact urban forms to reduce heat island effects and strategic orientation to maximise natural cooling, he says. Additionally, the project aims to enhance citizen mobility through safe pedestrian walkways and extensive green spaces. 
The project embraces cutting-edge technology in line with its vision to be a smart city. “The main goal in terms of smartness is to reach the Smart City 4.0, so the team is starting to develop the digital twin for the city,” he affirms.
Enabling works are currently being carried out by Austrian construction major Strabag and infrastructure development is poised to commence soon, Al Shukairi says.
Comprehensive studies during the design phase have helped mitigate risks, ensuring the project remains on track, he adds.
Despite minor hurdles, the project has largely adhered to its masterplan, thanks to pre-emptive risk assessments and swift resolution of issues, according to Al Shukairi.
Sultan Haitham City stands as a testament to Oman’s commitment to progressive urbanisation, blending tradition with innovation to create a sustainable haven for generations to come. 
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