Muscat – The Ministry of Heritage and Tourism (MHT) has issued 19 licences for integrated tourism complexes (ITCs) and is closely monitoring the progress of these projects to ensure adherence to agreed timelines.
H E Azzan bin Qassim al Busaidi, Undersecretary for Tourism in MHT, shared this information, highlighting the ministry’s focus on expanding recreational and tourism facilities within ITC projects.
These complexes, spread across various governorates including Muscat, Dhofar, South Sharqiyah, South Batinah and Musandam, comprise a total of 81 hotel facilities, 16,576 hotel rooms, 2,552 apartments and villas, 42,617 residential units, as well as golf courses, ports, restaurants, cafes and shops.
According to ministry statistics, the ongoing ITC projects have an estimated investment volume of approximately RO4.3bn, while other licensed projects at the pre-implementation stage amount to around RO3.1bn.
H E Busaidi emphasised that ITCs serve as a model for comprehensive tourist cities, offering all-in-one services and facilities. “They not only enable non-Omanis to own property but also attract foreign capital and businessmen to reside in the sultanate, thus contributing to the local economy.”
The undersecretary highlighted the direct economic benefits of these complexes, including generating employment opportunities, enriching supply chains in the tourism sector, fostering business growth and increasing local added value. “Allowing foreign ownership of property has proven to be instrumental in stimulating the local market and attracting investors,” he added.
He further said that the success of an ITC lies in its ability to provide a harmonious blend of tourism, commercial, entertainment, residential and sports elements. “Developers must be responsive to rapid changes and adapt positively to evolving trends while ensuring a unique living experience that harmonises with the natural surroundings.”
Oman’s diverse terrain, featuring picturesque beaches, mountains and valleys, adds to the appeal for local and foreign investors seeking opportunities in the tourism and real estate sectors. The advantages offered by ITCs include the ability for foreign owners to obtain a visa and permanent residence for themselves and their families, as well as access to flexible mortgage options through local banks.
Moreover, these complexes present an opportunity for prospective buyers to acquire ready-made real estate through extended payment programmes. By paying a portion of the property’s price upfront, typically 10-20%, buyers can take possession of the property and settle the remaining balance within an agreed timeframe, providing an alternative to traditional bank financing.