Madinat al Irfan Development Company, a partnership between Omran and Majid al Futtaim Properties, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Oman Cycling Association (OCA) to exchange experiences on how to further the integration of cycling activities into its 5mn square metre project.
The signing agreement was held following the official visit to Oman by David Lappartient, president of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) – the world’s governing body for cycling. Lappartient was briefed by Madinat al Irfan executives on the plans to integrate a comprehensive cycling infrastructure into the early stages of the development.
Commenting on the important milestone, Talib Omar al Bulooshi, executive manager of Madinat al Irfan Development company, said, “Madinat al Irfan’s vision is to be a ‘City for the Future’. We aspire to offer its residents and visitors a planned, sustainable and smart mixed-use urban environment. Madinat al Irfan is inspired by best international planning practices and will be inspiring in its distinctively Omani contemporary life style offering. “The collaboration with Oman Cycling Association will enable us to benefit from their experience to improve on the planned urban bikeways for daily transport and the more challenging off-road cycling trails that are already integrated into our Phase One master plan.”
Bulooshi added, “The Cyclo-city initiative with Oman Cycling Association is a first-of-its-kind collaboration with a master developer in Oman and will hopefully become a didactic example for other developers to adopt in the sultanate.
“Madinat al Irfan cycling trails will become a reality by 2021, as the infrastructures of its first phase will become visible. This strategic partnership is in line with the government’s mandate of sustainability and strongly supports the health and well-being of Oman’s people. The adaptation of the Cyclo-city philosophy in Madinat al Irfan will support our cause to promote cycling as one of the pillars of a healthy lifestyle.”
Lappartient applauded the initiative, saying, “Madinat al Irfan’s vision is indeed inspiring and grand. I am very happy to know that cycling is already integrated into the planning of the city from an infrastructure and lifestyle perspective, an opportunity that not too many cities have. Cycling is an environment-friendly form of transport that will deliver both environmental and social benefits for Oman in the long term.”
Saif al Rashdi, chairman of Oman Cycling Association, said, “It’s an incredible milestone to see cycling being integrated within one of Oman’s flagship new destinations. This initiative directly aligns with the government’s vision for sustainable developments, while promoting the healthier lifestyle that is at the core of our mission.
“Madinat al Irfan’s geographical size and hilly terrain is a cyclist’s dream for a Cyclo-city, that is integrated and safe to cycle through and full of challenges as well.
“We are so optimistic that with the success of this initiative, cycling will become more accepted as a mode of transport and will foster its development nationally.”
Enabling earthworks for the construction of Madinat al Irfan Experience Centre commenced end of 2019 with target opening date of this first building end of this year.