The local Dhofar Tourism Company (DTC) is developing what it says is the largest local tourist resort so far, in the southern coastal town of Marbat. The local Modern Contracting has started work on the first phase of the estimated RO 60 million ($156 million) four-phase project.

Financing for the first phase is coming from the government, but funding for the future phases remains undetermined. A DTC official says the company is considering combining all four phases into one as part of a new funding strategy. Talks have been held with an unidentified Gulf investor, and DTC is expecting to receive an investment proposal soon. A final decision on the project implementation is expected to be taken by the end of October.

In the event of a new combined project, contractors would be invited to bid for a new contract after the preparation of a final design concept.

The project covers construction of a tourist plot on a 2.5 million-square-metre plot of land, of which the first phase covers 500,000 square metres. Facilities will include two hotels, a recreation centre, swimming pools, a park, a golf course, a diving centre and a bridge between the mainland and a small island opposite the resort.