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University City project in SEZD

12 Aug 2020

The Special Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (SEZAD) announced the establishment of the first higher education college in the Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZD) in partnership with Iskan Oman Investment Company (Iskan investment) and Middle East Education Venture (MEEV) on Wednesday. 

The new college will launch its first programme for the academic year 2021-2022. It will be the core of the University City project that Iskan Oman is planning to establish in a phased manner in the SEZD, following its usufruct agreement with SEZAD to develop an integrated academic city that will be built over an area of one million sqm. 

The master planning of the area, which will also include commercial, residential and hospitality zones, was completed by Iskan Investment and approved by SEZAD. 

In the first phase of the development, Iskan Investment has entered into a sub-usufruct agreement with MEEV to develop a portion of land to establish a higher education college. 

Sheikh Ahmed bin Sultan al Yaqoubi, Vice Chairman of Iskan Investment Board of Directors, said after signing the agreement that this project is one of the company’s priorities and added that Iskan focuses on responsible investments when selecting projects to invest in. 

The higher education college is the second investment for Iskan Investment at SEZD as it had previously developed a healthcare facility that has been operational since 2017, confirming its commitment for the development of Duqm in the long term. 

Dr Abdullah al Sabahi, Chairman of MEEV, said the company envisages to work closely with the Ministry of Higher Education, SEZAD, and Iskan Investment to implement the proposed college in line with Oman’s 2040 Vision Strategy and further contribute  towards realising Duqm development aspirations. 

He added that MEEV has the proven capabilities including experience, technology and the network required to implement successful educational projects, stating that MEEV believes that digital technology is the enabler of future universities. 

“Therefore, it intends to implement the latest technology components and to develop its programmes with a global outlook, with international, academic and research partnerships that will contribute towards enhancing experiences, sharing knowledge, and future skills as projected by the World Economic Forum and ‘international skills’ and the disruption expected to be brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” 

MEEV also intends to establish centres for competence, a centre for marine science and a centre for logistics and renewable energy. The purpose of these centres is to promote research commercialisation, build capacity and bring solutions to the social and industrial requirements. 

According to MEEV, the planned college of higher education at Duqm will emulate the core values of Middle East College (MEC) of employability, sustainability and global harmony. Focus areas of the college will be to offer programmes in the fields of management, technology, mechanical, chemical and petrochemical engineering. 

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