In an exclusive VIP launch and signing ceremony held at the Grand Hyatt Muscat, the property development and investment company Gulf Muscat United has launched sales for office space within Oman’s smartest office complex, the ‘iTower’. Located in the rapidly growing ‘New Downtown’ Bausher area of Muscat, and in close proximity to Muscat Grand Mall, the seven floor iTower is poised to be Oman’s smartest and most energy efficient business hub when completed in early 2018, setting new standards for environmental responsibility. The iconic 17,454 sqm development incorporates 71 business offices ranging in size from 42 sqm to 1,550 sqm, three levels of underground car parking, in addition to an extensive array of restaurants and shops on the ground floor.
Commenting on the strategy of iTower, Mr. Mehdi Borhani, Chairman of Gulf Muscat United noted, “The iTower was conceptualized to be the smartest office tower in Oman, allowing SME’s and corporates freehold ownership of their own office space, versus the ongoing costs of renting. The availability of quality office space in Muscat is very limited, and the opportunity to enjoy freehold ownership for commercial office space even more limited. The central location of the iTower in Bausher is the perfect location for office professionals, this area is rapidly taking shape as the new downtown for Muscat.”
Following the project launch presentation, Mr. Mehdi Borhani, Chairman of Gulf Muscat United conducted a construction contract signing ceremony with Sheikh Nasser bin Mohammed Al Hashar, Vice Chairman of Durat Al Sahil LLC, an excellent grade building and construction company, renowned for their quality and timely delivery of large scale projects across Oman.
Mr. Mehdi Borhani commented on the appointment, “We are very pleased to be working with Durat Al Sahil LLC as their projects around the Sultanate are a true reflection of their expertise and attention to detail. We are confident they will do an outstanding job to deliver iTower to our exacting standards.” The appointment of Durat Al Sahil for the iTower project comes after a competitive tender process and subsequent negotiation for the turn-key construction contract.
Durat Al Sahil was founded in Oman in 1998 and has since grown in stature as a leading organization encompassing all aspects of the building, materials and construction sector. The company boasts an experienced team of project managers and technical experts with a commitment to delivering customer satisfaction with every project. Notable developments undertaken by the company include large scale projects for PDO, Royal Oman Police, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Information and Royal Flight Oman.
Sheikh Nasser bin Mohammed Al Hashar, Vice Chairman of Durat Al Sahil commented, “The turn-key contract award comprises all preparation and infrastructure works, and the construction and fitout of the iTower, this includes the office tower, restaurants and retail zone, recreation areas and integrated parking zones, all designed by international consultants to a very high standard. We are proud to be awarded this contract and look forward to working with Gulf Muscat United on this landmark project.”
The iTower sports an iconic design and incorporates numerous smart features new to the Sultanate, which was the primary design brief given to the Oman based architectural firm Lines & Visions. The temperature efficiency of the tower will be achieved by enveloping the whole building with advanced thermal insulation and by utilising an air tight construction method for all facades. Designed with close attention to detail and fibre optic connectivity, the entire business complex will also be fitted with raised flooring, allowing easy and unobtrusive installation of power and data cabling.
Visitors to the iTower will easily pinpoint numerous Islamic design elements throughout the business tower, and will notice parallels in the project’s design with traditional Omani architectural themes, with a unique spiralling atrium dominating the interior volume of the tower. The iconic design of the geometric facade incorporates traditional Islamic influences and is constructed of materials that are energy collectors, allowing the building to easily adapt to fluctuating external temperatures. Strict architectural and environmental standards have been applied to every stage of the design process, keeping the building’s look and feel futuristic, yet inherently Omani.
A key objective for the iTower development is to offer modern and affordable freehold office space for SME’s in one of the most desirable areas of Muscat. Affirming the importance of supporting growth for the SME sector, Mehdi Borhani noted, “His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said has highlighted the significance of the SME sector and the vital role it must play for the continued growth of the economy of Oman in the years ahead. In line with the efforts of the Government, it is our objective with the iTower development to accommodate small enterprises and empower them to grow their contributions to the national economy.”
Better Homes, the leading regional real estate company has been appointed as the exclusive agent for the development. Glenn Meek, General Manager for Better Homes Oman shared his thoughts on the launch. He said, “This project is unique given the broad variety of office units available, and there is a lot of flexibility for business owners to create their ideal office environment.
From an investment or owner occupier perspective, the iTower makes a lot of sense, when compared to leasing office space, the average payback period when purchasing freehold office space within the iTower is usually around 7 years when compared to the equivalent market rental. Likewise, investors can expect a healthy return given the lack of quality modern office space in Muscat. The office units are available at prices significantly below those seen before in this segment, starting from OMR 39,500. With a projected hand-over date set at early 2018, we are certain that prospective investors and owner occupiers in the Sultanate will see the real value that this development brings.”
Glenn Meek added, “Announcing open sales for the iTower is one of the most significant milestones in the project’s timeline and we are very confident of a positive reception from investors and the business community. As market leaders in the sale of commercial property, Better Homes are equipped with a team of knowledgeable and dedicated sales professionals that can guide prospective buyers through the process and ensure that they make the best decision.”
Gulf Muscat United is diversified development and construction group based in Muscat. The company’s projects are defined by a focus on creating innovative environments for investors and occupiers. By taking the time to understand to research the market, end-users and the unique opportunities in Oman, Gulf Muscat United works to create unique development opportunities. The company is also developing other large scale residential and commercial developments currently in Al Azaiba and Al Ansab. As a company with over 10 years of property development and asset management experience, Gulf Muscat United have gained a reputation for their high quality developments, delivering properties on budget and on time.