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Omran breaks ground on Oman Convention and Exhibition Center

Omran, which is mandated by the Government of Oman to deliver major projects and manage tourism assets and Investments, formally broke ground recently on the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, a major new project which will become one of the region’s leading facilities for conferences and exhibitions.

Under the sponsorship of H.E Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, minister of national economy and deputy chairman of financial affairs and energy resources council, and in the presence of H.E. Dr. Rajiha bin AbdulAmeer bin Ali, minister of tourism and chairperson of Omran, and many distinguished guests, the foundation stone for the center was laid.

The key components of the center include an auditorium with total seating for 3,000, exhibition halls with 82,021square feetexhibition space and with the ability to seat 10,000 people in the first phase. The development will also have banquet halls, meeting space, 279,000 square feet of office space in a grade-A business park, four hotels with a total of 1,000 rooms and a large shopping mall.

Oman’s first international-standard convention center which represents a major investment by Omran, will allow Muscat to become a regional destination serving the MICE sector, providing an additional boost to Oman’s fast-growing tourism industry.

“This facility will allow Oman to become a major new destination for conferences, exhibitions and other major business events'” said Macki. “These will have a major impact on our economy in the future, creating many hundreds of jobs for Omanis and attracting hundreds of thousands of business travelers each year.”

H.E. Dr. Rajiha bint Abdul Ameer bin Ali said the center represented an important element of Oman’s tourism strategy.

“Over recent years, Oman has taken major strides forward in attracting tourists to our many leisure resorts and hotels,” said Ali. “Our strategy has always been to target the business sector too and this investment will provide us with an outstanding venue for conferences and exhibitions.”

Eng. Wael bin Ahmed Al Lawati, CEO of Omran, said that Omran felt privileged to be chosen to develop this strategic project.

“We have completed many important stages of the design and planning work for the center and we are delighted to have started work on site,” said Lawati. “We have been given an ambitious timeline to complete the first phase of the project but as we showed with the site for the Asian Beach Games, we can rise to the challenge. We commit to delivering a facility which will make Oman proud; one which will stand against the very best convention centers in the world.”

Located just 2.49 miles from Muscat Airport, the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center will act as a gateway to Muscat. Its landmark design will draw on Oman’s strong cultural heritage and architectural traditions, taking full advantage of the natural beauty of its surroundings.

State-of-the-art conference and exhibition facilities will be complemented by four hotels, including a five star flagship property, two four star hotels and a boutique three star accommodation.

The master-planner and developer for the project, Omran was established by the government to deliver major real estate, hospitality and joint venture projects across Oman, in support of the nation’s long term economic strategy, ‘Vision 2020’, which sees tourism sector as a key contributor.

It has just completed its first major project, the site for the Muscat Asian Beach Games 2010, which was handed over to the Games organizers in November.



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