Real estate developers are focussing on mega integrated tourism complexes and high end properties for Omanis
Real estate developers are focusing on Integrated Tourism Complex (ITC) projects, which offer several thousand homes for foreigners. According to an estimate, more than 5,000 new homes will be available for expats to buy across Oman under an ambitious five ITCs.
As per the rule, non-Omanis can only buy property within Integrated Tourism Complexes but the government is pushing to create more, as part of its move away from dependence on oil and gas. These projects include Diyar Ras Al Hadd Resort, Omagine Project, Quriyat Integrated Project, Naseem Al Sabaah Project and Al Nakheel Project.
Oman Tourism strategy
The total investment required for the new tourism projects through the Omani Tourism Strategy (2016-2040) is between RO936 million and RO18 billion of which 88 per cent of these investments are through the private sector and have been approved, while others are in the development stages.
The existing ITC projects include Al Mouj, Barr Al Jissah, Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club, Al Siffah Resort, Saraya Bandar Jissah Muscat Bay and Salalah Beach Resort.
Developed by Omran and Saraya Holding Oman, the first phase of Muscat Bay consists of 260 residential units in three residential zones. However, in the second phase, another 200 houses will be added to the whole development, taking it to 460 housing units. The first phase includes twin villas and detached villas in the island lagoon area that have two-bedroom and large and small one-bedroom apartments. The one-bedroom apartments and smaller two-bedroom apartments are for investors, while the larger two-bedroom apartments, which span an area of over 200 square meters, are for clients for their own use.
The Nameer Island villas and Wajd Hilltop Palaces within Saraya Bander will provide a variety of picturesque views of the flowing lagoon and sweeping seascape beyond, and will overlook the landscaped park below. Muscat Bay will also have recreational facilities and the first beach resort operated by Jumeirah hotels in Oman.
The Links, another major integrated tourism complex project from Muscat Hills also started its work. The developers have already awarded the turn-key construction contract to Unique Contracting Company. Located in the recently announced ‘New Downtown’ area of Al Irfan, The Links is set to be a new and iconic development consisting of residential apartments, recreational facilities, in addition to an extensive array of restaurants and shops. The development has an integrated tourism complex status and is part of the master-plan of Muscat Hills development, offering the opportunity for all nationalities to own competitively priced freehold property in the desirable Al Irfan precinct. With close attention to detail and contemporary urban design, the development upon completion will be managed to the highest international standards. The Links will offer exclusive concierge services, organised recreational areas, while preventative maintenance programmes will be in place to ensure the long-term value enhancement for property owners.
Several other projects, which mainly focus on local people, are also in different stages of planning and development. An integrated mix-use project in Al Mawaleh – Mazaya Residence was launched by Al Mazaya Holding – a joint venture of UAE and Kuwait investors. The first phase of the residential-cum-commercial project will have 120 residential units and 28 shops. Sprawled over a total space of 23,194 square metres and divided into 12 commercial-cum-residential plots, the project offers residential units, including one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom flats and shops of varying sizes with high-end amenities and landscaped areas and nature.
The company will develop the project over different phases, the first of which was announced under the name ‘Zone 1.’ The project is strategically located near key shopping malls and trade centres in Muscat, including City Centre, which is located only a few minutes away. The amenities of the residential project include swimming pools, health clubs and tennis playgrounds. The project stands out as an attractive opportunity for investment or housing.
Al Mazaya Holding has identified the gap in the market and the demand of the Omani population for residential projects that cater to the specific requirements of both Omani and Gulf citizens alike.
Al Mazaya has awarded a contract to Al Hajiry Trading for the construction, execution, delivery and maintenance of the residential project. Zawaya Development has also launched its latest luxury properties project – Al Noor Projects. The RO7million-residential and commercial complex stretches over 9,000 square metres and is located at the heart of Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos. It has a total of 87 units, which include 66 residential units of single bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments; 10 two-storey three-bedroom apartments; five office spaces and six commercial units. The project brings together luxury, creative design combining modernity to originality, latest technologies and equipment and world-class features to provide an exceptional experience of living.
The space of residential units ranges between 99 square meters and 243 square meters, while the commercial units have been designed to be available from 100 square metres to 400 square meters, for various purposes. Construction work has started some months ago, and delivery is expected to be within the first quarter of 2018.
National Mass Housing’s second phase of Areej Residential Community was also launched early this year. Areej Residential Community stretches over 30,000 square meters and presents a milestone for the real estate sector in Oman.
One of the main features of the project is the strategic location which gives the whole project more uniqueness and investment value. It is located near the German University of Technology and Sandan Industrial Park and a 15-minute drive from Muscat International Airport, 15-minute drive from Muscat City Centre and 10-minute drive from Seeb Souq.
The architectural design of the 69-villa project ensures comfort, luxury and enjoyable life for all residents. It has been designed to be the gateway for through which individuals will step into a new world of creativity. Each villa stretches over 237 square meters and has been equipped with a wide range of facilities, technologies and internal design that provides the highest level of comfort and optimal use of every corner. The delivery is expected to be in 2019.
The first ever solar energy office in Oman, the Taj office building, was also launched in the early part of 2017. Harnessed partially by the power of the sun, the office is the outcome of the efforts of Teejan Investment and Development. Supported by a variety of latest cutting-edge technologies and high-end specifications, Taj office building will be equipped with fast internet connections making it a state-of-the-art smart office. The project is overlooking the main streets of Muscat city and it is a seven-minute drive from Muscat International Airport. Stretching over 3,942 square meters, the 12-story building can accommodate 270 vehicles.
Optimising the use of latest technologies, Taj is the first office building in Oman to be equipped with a robot to work as a guide for visitors. The building is solar energy powered and is equipped with smart lighting and air conditioning systems.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Housing has asked real estate brokers to get a licence, which was a long pending request from Oman Real Estate Association. The trade body had also asked for establishing a national-level body for regulating the real estate market, especially property developers and real estate brokers.
The total value of real estate transactions fell by 69.9 per cent to RO1.42 billion in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period of last year. Oman has witnessed an overall real estate transaction to the tune of RO6.62 billion in 2016. Despite this the real estate market in Oman still holds a lot of potential.