Muscat – His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the Oman Cultural Complex (OCC) at the Airport Heights in Muscat, marking a significant step in the sultanate’s cultural advancement.
The complex, to be developed at an estimated cost of RO147.8mn, will come up on 400,000sqm of land with a built-up area of 80,200sqm. It will be the address of three major national institutions – the National Theatre, the National Library, and the National Records and Archives Authority.
With eight additional buildings for various facilities, the complex will be the central hub for preserving, showcasing, and celebrating Oman’s history, and contemporary arts and culture.
The project is set to boost the cultural, literary, and theatrical activities in Oman, alongside research works in various fields. It will also contribute to the preservation of Oman’s national heritage and achievements.
The complex will have diverse components such as the Children’s Library, the House of Arts, the House of Cinema, and the Literary Forum, complemented by halls dedicated to fine arts, restaurants, cafés, and public gardens.
One of the complex’s core objectives is to advance cultural and literary work, supporting the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth’s plans and the implementation of the cultural strategy for community service. It will oversee and aid in the development of both governmental and private cultural centres and institutions across Oman.
The National Library – 23,500sqm in area – will focus on acquiring literary and intellectual productions with a higher benchmark, besides creating a system of collecting and housing millions of data and documents for superior research work. It will also enhance the efficiency of private libraries through technical expertise and information exchange.
The National Theatre, over an area of 16,500sqm, will have a 1,000-seat capacity auditorium, which is expected to inspire theatrical activities in Oman. It will be the venue for various training programmes to integrate theatre into student activities and school curricula. The centre will oversee and coordinate theatrical programmes and activities, and host local and international theatre festivals, officials said.
The Arts House, on 3,500sqm of land, will nurture young talents in drawing, fine arts and music. It will offer training programmes, laboratories, and tools to assist artistes, organise art exhibitions, and support young musicians.
Lastly, the National Records and Archives Authority, on an area of 22,500sqm, will utilise documents to highlight Oman’s cultural and historical aspects through ages.
This comprehensive cultural complex is a landmark move in Oman’s dedication to preserving and promoting its rich heritage and artistic legacy.