Dubai-based Majid al-Futtaim Investments (MAF)on 14 September signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Waterfront Investments- the renamed Oman Tourism Development Company - to develop the first phase of The Wave, the estimated $800 million project planned along the coastline at Seeb.
MAF and Waterfront Investments will form an as yet unnamed 49:51 joint venture company. It will be committed to investing $90 million in the first-phase development, which will encompass infrastructure work, a marina and an 18-hole golf course. Construction is due to take about two years. The overall shape of the resort is not due to change, but it is understood that the joint venture will appoint new consultants to re-examine the designs. There is no commitment by MAF to invest in future phases of The Wave, which will eventually stretch along 7.3 kilometres of coastline, but it is likely that as plots of land on the first phase of the project are sold off, the proceeds will be reinvested. The Wave is the flagship project in a wider effort to develop the sultanate's tourism industry, now spearheaded by the new Tourism Ministry. Ras al-Hadd and Salalah are also earmarked for development under a masterplan prepared by the local office of the US' Parsons International. A decree is due to be issued imminently permitting foreigners to own freehold property (MEED 18:6:04).