The financing agreement, which is valued at RO38mn, was formalised on Tuesday in a signing ceremony held at OCEC, stated a press release.
The agreement was signed by Eng Saif al Hinai, Omran’s acting chief executive officer and Saad Musa al Jenaibi, general manager of QNB Oman, during an event attended by senior officials from Omran and QNB.
Eng Hinai said, “The agreement was part of the financial model pursued by Omran whereby private institutions work hand-in-hand with the government on commercial projects. This development, once completed, will stand as the most prestigious and exclusive of the quartet of hotels planned for the OCEC precinct. The hotel will offer unprecedented levels of luxury, class and service whilst adding significant guest capacity to the hospitality offering in OCEC as well as Muscat as a whole.”
The hotel opening, slated for the end of 2017, is a proof of Omran’s commitment to further develop the sultanate’s burgeoning tourism sector. Operated under the JW Marriott brand, the hotel includes state-of-the-art food and beverage outlets, meeting facilities and a health and leisure club. Once completed, it will add an additional 304 rooms to hotel offerings in the sultanate. The hotel is being built according to the highest standards of environmental sustainability and is designed to meet the criteria for the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the US Green Building Council.
Speaking about the signing, Jenaibi said, “The bank is proud to be associated with Omran for this prestigious development. Projects of national importance such as these are key towards the development of the hospitality sector and, in turn, foster economic growth and generate local employment.” Highlighting the high levels of mutual cooperation with the private sector, Eng Hinai said, “This agreement represents a milestone for our partnership with QNB as well as the banking sector in the sultanate as a whole. New development funding arrangements such as these reflect the growing number of opportunities for private sector equity involvement and the rise of mutual partnerships.
“By taking a position in projects such as these, private sector investors benefit not only from favourable future returns, they are also playing a key role in building capacity to support the rapidly growing tourism and travel sector in Oman.” Once complete, the OCEC, part of phase one of Madinat al Irfan Urban Development, will include four hotels, a business park, and a retail shopping mall in addition to the convention centre.