Ras Al Hadd is part of Oman’s strategy to promote tourism
THE eco-themed Ras Al Hadd tourism project is set to take shape in Oman’s South Al Sharqiyah Governorate, following a comprehensive agreement signed by Government of Oman and Qatari Diar-Ras Al Hadd Development Company.
The RO250-million ($649 million) project, which will cover a whopping 1.85-million-sq-m area, will be developed by the Qatari Diar-Ras Al Hadd Development Company, a newly established entity which is 30 per cent owned by the Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) and 70 per cent by Qatari Diar Company.
The project will be developed in four phases. Phase One includes the establishment of a 100-room eco-themed resort, 50 hotel villas, 150 residential villas and a 7,000-sq-m suq. This phase is targeted for completion by the end of 2018.
Phase Two involves the addition of 100 new five-star hotel rooms to the resort, as well as an additional 196 residential villas, and a dedicated centre for wildlife preservation and an observation park set over a 10,000 sq m area.
The third phase will see the construction of a separate 200-room five-star resort, an additional 50 hotel villas and 179 residential villas, as well as the development of a new market area covering 16,000 sq m, and the construction of a specialised marine life park.
And the final phase of the Ras Al Hadd project will witness the opening of a 150-room five-star hotel, 50 hotel villas, 175 new residential villas, as well as the construction of a dedicated heritage village, and a specialised staff accommodation zone to accommodate 836 employees.
The agreement was signed by Ahmed bin Nasser Al Mahrazi, Oman’s Minister of Tourism and board member of Omran, and Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Qatar’s Minister of Finance and chairman of Qatari Diar Company.
Commenting on the agreement, Al Mahrazi says: “The Ras Al Hadd project forms part of a comprehensive government growth strategy aiming at developing the tourism sector in Oman. The development fully caters to emerging trends in the tourism sector globally, and once completed will provide tourists and visitors with a stunning insight into the unique wildlife in the region, as well as generate broader economic opportunities for the tourism sector in the sultanate.”
On his part, Al Emadi notes: “This agreement is part of the Qatari Government’s focus to promote investment in Oman in order to serve the common interests between our countries. We hope that this great project will be the beginning of a new era of cooperation in developing the tourism and economic sectors between the two brotherly countries.”
Wael Al Lawati, CEO of Omran, emphasises the importance of the Ras Al Hadd development agreement to cater to growing expectations placed on Oman as a word-class tourist destination, and to develop the necessary tourism infrastructure to a global standard,
“Ras Al Hadd has a fantastic growth potential as a destination for local, regional and international tourists to discover the stunning wildlife of the region, and to experience the history and hospitality of Omani culture. This eco-themed project delivers a number of unique tourist attractions within the masterplan, including a wildlife preservation and observation park, a marine life park, and of course, the heritage village which will celebrate the rich history of Omani culture surrounding Ras Al Hadd.
“The resort and residential developments, as well as the attractions, firmly adhere to the core themes of sustainability and responsible tourism management. These principles are based on joining hands with the local community, both in terms of job creation as well as preserving and celebrating the cultural heritage of the area, and safeguarding the environment for future generations to enjoy.
“The Ras Al Hadd project will make a significant contribution towards maintaining the continued growth in our tourism sector by providing a new and truly unique destination within the Sultanate,” he adds.
Omran is mandated by the Government of Oman to deliver major projects and manage tourism assets and investments in line with the government’s vision of positioning tourism as a major economic driver of the future and as a generator of employment. The company’s growing project portfolio includes some of the largest developments in Oman such as the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, and the Second Asian Beach Games facilities.
Qatari Diar Real Estate Company was established in 2005 by the Qatar Investment Authority, the country’s sovereign wealth fund. The company has been entrusted with supporting Qatar’s growing economy and to coordinate the country’s real estate development priorities. Its first project Lusail City is currently under construction. This progressive, self-contained city is the largest single development to be undertaken in Qatar.