The Oman Tourism & Development Company (Omran) received bids on 28 April for a contract to provide architect of record and engineering consultancy services on the Fort Hotel development, near Muscat.

Four firms submitted bids for the consultancy deal on 28 April.

The local Cowi & Partners submitted the lowest bid with a price of OR792,330 ($2m). This was 39 per cent lower than the OR1.3m price submitted by the second lowest bidder, the US-based firm HKS.

Canada’s Norr Group submitted a bid of OR1.5m, and Singapore’s Meinhardt Consulting submitted a price of OR1.6m.

Omran has also invited firms to bid for an interior design contract for the project. Firms have until 28 June to submit bids.

Omran awarded three contracts for the Fort hotel development in 2008.

Barker Barton & Lawson, a subsidiary of the UK’s Currie & Brown, was awarded the consultancy contract, and Swiss-based Maya Overseas was selected as architect and lead design consultants in a deal worth OR785,918.

New Zealand-based Beca International was selected as the project manager (MEED 27:3:08).

Omran is currently developing a number of projects in the sultanate as Oman seeks to increase tourist revenues as part of its economic diversification programme.

It recently awarded two consultancy contracts on its convention and exhibition centre project on the outskirts of Muscat.

UK-based RMJM was awarded the main consultancy contract, which involves design and engineering work. Canada’s Hanscomb & Company saw off competition from eight other consultants to win the quantity surveying contract for the development.

US-based WATG is the master-planner for the project, which will be built four kilometres from Muscat International Airport.

The convention and exhibition centre development is planned to include a 6,000 capacity convention centre, a 30,000-square metre exhibition and sports centre at the site. The plans also include a 125,000 sq m shopping mall, a 70,000 sq m low-rise business park, and four hotels, each with 250 rooms. One hotel will be rated as five-star, two will be four-star, and one will be three-star (MEED 5:4:10).