Dubai-listed developer Damac has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Oman’s Tourism Development Company (Omran) for a major tourism project in the sultanate, according to a company statement.

The MoU will involves the two companies forming a joint venture to develop $1.3bn mixed-use tourism project, Port Sultan Qaboos.

The project will be implemented in three phases over 451,000 square metres.

UK-based Atkins carried out the original masterplanning for the project, on behalf of the original client, the Ministry of Transport & Communications (MOTC).

Last year MEED reported that UK-based Foster & Partners, German/local Hoehler+AlSalmy were awarded the contract for detailed design of the key waterfront attractions.

HD23, a joint venture of London’s Harper Downie and local 23 Degrees North are the lead design consultants and detailed design engineers for phase one. 95 per cent of their design work will be carried out in country.

In 2016, the local Blizzard Brothers were been awarded the first construction contract, for Souq al-Mina, which will be an incubator for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Omran is bringing in private investment for the project. The project company will be 51 per cent owned by Omran and 49 per cent by private investors including pension and investment funds and developers.

It will select international hotel operators for the seven planned three-, four- and five star hotels. Those interested include Dubai’s The Address (Emaar), Hong Kong’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, the US’ Hyatt, Viceroy Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Hotels & Resorts, India’s Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, Singapore’s Banyan Tree Luxury Hotels & Resorts, Chedi, operated by Singapore’s General Hotel Management, and Canada’s Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.