The agreement was singed during the first day of The BIG Show (Builders International Gathering) and Oman Real Estate Exhibition and Conference at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in the presence of ministers and senior government officials.
Spread over a total area of 51mn sqm and located in Barka, the Khazaen Economic City project will have a dry port along with residential, commercial, and industrial zones. The proposed city will also have a business hub, and it would be developed in several phases to become an integrated city. The project will be developed by Oman Investment Corporation in a joint venture with Saudi partner Mohammed Ali Al Swailem Group, under the auspices of Asyad Group.
Kalat Ghuloom al Bulooshi, CEO of Oman Investment Corporation, said, “This agreement is for the fully integrated economic city Khazaen. It will be the first of its kind to be set up near Muscat. We along with our Saudi partner will be the master developer. We will be developing all the infrastructure and will also try to attract anchor investors for developing the project.” He said, “The project is very large and we are talking about some 51mn sqm area to be developed in various phases spanning over a period of many decades.”
On proposed investments, Bulooshi said, “For the first phase, which covers a timespan of over 20 years, the total investment would be around RO300mn on development of infrastructure alone. Total investment in all phases, which includes developing the 51mn sqm area, would be over RO700mn.”
Speaking about possible ways to raise the funds for the project, he said, “We are an investment company and we will be using our own funds. Once the company stabilise and regular income starts coming in the next seven to ten years time, we will consider offering an issue through the initial public offering but for the initial phase we partners would be funding the project together.”
Bulooshi expects civil works on the project would start soon, probably by September this year. “We hope to break ground this year, may be in the next six to nine months. We need to finalise design and other things before we initiate the ground work. We are targeting by September to break the ground.”