Oman's tourism arm buys into eight companies

Published August 22nd, 2016 - 07:00 GMT
The OMR500m mixed-use Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront project is close to being fully funded.   (Omangbnews.com)
The OMR500m mixed-use Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront project is close to being fully funded. (Omangbnews.com)

Omran, the tourism investment arm of Oman, has reportedly taken over or acquired stakes in eight companies in the sultanate to drive development.

Organisation chief executive James Wilson, who took the position in January, detailed the plans to Times of Oman, saying OMR300m ($779.6m) of tourism projects were being built in the country.

The eight firms include Marina Bander Rhowda, the taking over of Oman Sail and Oman Tourism College, two major stakes in listed companies and a 40 per cent stake in the The Wave mixed-use development, which comprises an 18 hole PGA golf course, residential properties, retail and dining facilities, luxury hotels and a 400-berth marina.

“We have taken a 40 per cent stake in The Wave. We have taken the 40 per cent shareholding that was held by the Ministry of Finance,” he was quoted as saying.

“That in itself is a pretty big deal, but put together with the six companies we have taken control of and the efforts to put Omanis in the driving seat so that they themselves can shape the future of their country, it’s a very positive time.”

Wilson said Omran had also made progress on the OMR500m mixed-use Mina Sultan Qaboos Waterfront project, which was close to being fully funded.

The project, which includes waterfront promenades, six hotels and business, residential and retail areas is hoped to be open by the start of Expo 2020 in Dubai, he confirmed.

While more broadly he said the country had 1,100 hotels rooms coming to market and a requirement for 1,200 staff.

“We want them to be serving tourists to a globally high standard, hence our taking ownership of the tourism college. Our senior managers will be going there to talk to classes about real-life in the hospitality industry and give lectures.”

The organisation hopes that 45 per cent of staff in any new hotel it opens will be Omani from around 30 per cent in its current properties, according to the publication.

In April, Oman revealed plans to double the number of international visitors it attracts over the next two decades as part of the Vision 2040 plan.


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