Bids invited for Salalah FZ consultancy

13 June 2003
The government has invited international consultants to bid by 26 June for the contract to provide detailed design and supervision services for the construction of a free zone in Salalah. Plans to build the proposed free zone were postponed last September following the withdrawal of Hillwood Strategic Servicesof the US on the eve of signing a key shareholders' agreement. The government has now formed the Salalah Free Zone Companyto develop the project, with the intention of seeking a joint-venture partner once the commercial viability of the zone has been established (MEED 27:9:02; Industry).

The estimated RO 35 million ($90 million) project covers the development of a 6,000-acre site identified in an initial study produced in 2001 by Hillwood. Phase 1 will require: the construction of a 2.2 kilometre-long, two-lane dual-carriageway connecting the free zone with the existing Salalah coast road and an internal road network; grading and levelling of the site; realignment of water mains and installation of telephone and fibre optic cables; and construction of stormwater channels.

The initial project investment requires the construction of a 20,000-square-metre speculative building providing short-term lease space. Additional buildings will be commissioned by tenants on a build-to-suit basis. The proposed zone also includes space for the construction of 5,800 residential units. The selected consultant will update the original masterplan produced by Hillwood and carry out detailed design studies for the zone's entire infrastructure and envisaged facilities. Pending final approval, the site will be located on land next to the Salalah container terminal operated by Salalah Port Services.

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