The local Zubair Enterprisesannounced details on 18 February of an estimated $200 million resort project to be located at Barr al-Jissah on the Gulf of Oman, some 12 kilometres south of Muscat. The first of seven main contract packages will be issued for bid in the coming weeks, with the first award expected in mid April.
The resort will cover an area of 500,000 square metres and centre around five-star and four-star hotels with spa facilities, private apartments and cultural areas. The 700-room development will also be entirely self-sufficient with its own 33-kV substation, desalination plant, wastewater treatment facilities, laundry, and fuel and water storage units.
A key element in the project will be the construction of a road linking the isolated Barr al-Jissah site with Muscat. The government is understood to be evaluating proposals for the highway, which will enable contractors to mobilise via land access. 'A lot depends on a road being built making the construction cheaper,' says a project source. The resort is scheduled for completion by July 2005.
Zubair and its operating partner, Hong Kong-based Shangri La Hotels & Resorts, have already put together a strong project team. London-based Wimberly Allison Tong & Goois acting as lead architect. The project manager is New York-based Turner International. The project's finance requirements are to be arranged by BankMuscatand Oman Arab Bank(MEED 23:3:01).