Oman plans to bid for international convention events once the new $1.5bn Muscat exhibition complex is completed in the first quarter of 2016, Said al-Qasmi, chief procurement officer at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre, told the MEED Oman Projects Forum 2013 on 29 October.

“We need to position Oman on the world meetings, incentives, conferencing and events (MICE) map,” he said.

Al-Qasmi added that the four remaining contracts involving the convention and exhibition centre will be put out to tender by the end of the first half of 2014.

He said the centre’s 600 hotel rooms will be opened in the third quarter of 2016 and a further 600 hotel rooms will be available in the second quarter of 2017.

The centre will have 24,000 square metres of exhibition hall space and parking space for 5,000 cars. The auditorium will have 3,200 seats. The facility is expected to attract about 49,000 annual visitors by 2020, according to Al-Qasmi.