Phase 1 will cover an area of 5.5 square kilometres. It comprises four hotels ranging from 120 to 300 keys, a golf community with two 18-hole professional golf association (PGA)-standard courses, a waterfront residential resort, a tourist village with souks, apartments and hotels, an aquarium, an amphitheatre and associated landscaping and parks. The first phase will take five years to complete and in total provide 45,000 residential units.

The mixed-use project, which is located about 100 kilometres northwest of Muscat, will stretch over a 35-square-kilometre site along the Al-Sawadi seafront. To be built over a 15-year period, Blue City will include various residential, commercial, business and tourism-related clusters with final investment expected to reach about $20,000 million. The development will also comprise specific health, education and sports zones. Phase 2 will be launched within the next two years and will focus on providing municipal buildings. The project will be developed in 10 phases.

The new city will house about 250,000 people, attract 2 million tourists a year and create about 50,000 jobs primarily for Omani nationals.

South Africa’s Africonis the infrastructure consultant. The UK’s Atkinsis the environmental consultant. Royal Haskoning, also of the UK, is the marine consultant. London-based HVS Internationalis the hospitality consultant. Ahmed Janahi Visionscarried out the concept masterplan. Ahmed Janahi Architectsis the lead consultant and architect on the project. Bahrain’s Sintegrowill oversee the municipal, utilities and facilities services on the entire development. Bahrain-based ReeMoonis acting as the strategic development manager. The client is also expected to select a project manager imminently after shortlisting four firms in late 2005.