Westward bound

Driven by government policies and infrastructure development, there is an evident shift in the focus of warehousing development to the West of Muscat.

Already home to several of Oman’s largest warehousing developments, the Barka / Rumais area continues its growth into a logistics hub of national significance. Its evident locational advantages on the doorstep of Muscat are being further enhanced by government policies and infrastructure developments. Major drivers for the development of the area include the movement of warehousing and light industrial activity out of Ghala as it is gradually redeveloped into a residential/commercial suburb, the movement of all sea freight from Port Sultan Qaboos in Muscat to Port of Sohar in August last year, the on-going development of the Batinah Expressway which is expected to be completed by the end of 2017, the upgrading of the existing highway, the provision of a major freight terminal to the South of Barka as part of the proposed national railway network and the proposed South Batinah Logistics Hub. The supply of warehousing for the rental market in the area, however, remains extremely limited.

Tapping into an evident market requirement is the recently completed first phase of a modern, master planned warehouse park for the rental market with the units now ready for occupation. The development is located in a prominent and easily accessible position on the Muscat to Sohar highway in Rumais, approximately 1.5 kilometres from the Naseem Gardens junction and 30 kilometres to the West of Muscat International Airport. The location allows easy access to and from Muscat Expressway, the under construction Batinah Expressway and proposed Barka railway goods yard. It is ideally positioned for occupants looking to service the Muscat and interior markets. The developer, First Logistic Services Company, is a joint venture between the Golden Group of Companies and First Investment Company. The Golden Group of Companies is one of the Sultanate’s leading real estate developers while First Investment Company is a major investment firm from Kuwait, with over RO500mn of assets under management.

The first phase provides 36 warehouse units in three different types with floor areas of 500 to 1,000 sqm and clear internal heights of 7.5 to 8.5 metres. The units have been designed with the requirements of tenants in mind to provide raised concrete floors, dedicated loading / unloading facilities for each unit, insulated sandwich panels for the roofing and walls, and generous circulation space within the development. Flexibility is a key feature to enable units to be easily joined together and allow the provision of chilled or temperature controlled facilities to tenant requirements. A particularly notable feature is that the 12 units along the front of the development have been designed as retail warehouses, which will allow occupiers to take advantage of the prominent highway frontage. Attracted by the quality and location of the development, interest from potential tenants has been strong as the development has been completed which reflects the growing desire for warehouse tenants to be located outside but within easy reach of Muscat.

Cluttons & Partners has been appointed as lead leasing agent for this well considered development with which it has been involved from inception. Our appointment reflects our successful track record and expertise in the warehousing sector across the region, allied to our ability to offer market-leading leasing services.

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