Muscat – The Tender Board approved the construction of Oman Cultural Complex (OCC), a project envisaged as a national cultural centre, on Wednesday. Spread over an area of 400,000sqm opposite Muscat International Airport, a total of RO147.8mn was allocated for the complex.
The project consists of three main buildings – National Theatre, National Library and National Archives – in addition to eight other buildings.
The National Theatre will have a 1,000-seat capacity main auditorium and an additional hall for 250 people. The National Library will be a 20,000sqm five-storey building, while the National Archives, partially open to the public, will include nearly 20km of shelf space.
The OCC project, which was first tendered in 2014 but put on hold, has been revived under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth. It invited chosen contractors last year to carry out the specialist design, material procurement and construction of OCC.
According to the tender document brief on the project, this new development by the ministry ‘aims to establish a national cultural centre in Muscat as part of its strategy to preserve history and tradition, provide knowledge and competency, and promote cultural and artistic innovations’.
The ministry added that OCC is a long-cherished project of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik to create a landmark for art and culture of international scale, dedicated to collect, preserve and exhibit Oman’s past and present. It is envisaged as a vibrant space to present live contemporary art and culture and as a link connecting local and international knowledge and cultural industries.
Additionally, OCC will provide an inspiring environment for the capital city Muscat, the nation and the region.
‘This classic archetype ensemble, with buildings of exceptional contemporary architecture, will have a build-up area of 73,000sqm and be embedded in an oasis-like walled garden with parking and recreational areas.’