An Omani developer has revealed plans to build a $1bn tourist resort near the small fishing town of Qurayyat, about 80km southeast of the capital, Muscat.
The Qurayyat Development Company, a joint venture between Al Madina Real Estate and engineering outfit Fadhaa al Khaleej, is planning to build the Al Sahel project in three phases, reports Oman Daily Observer.
The first will cost around $100m and will install infrastructure on the 130ha site. It will also construct 400 housing units, a four-star hotel with 220 rooms and greenhouses for growing vegetables. There will also be an equestrian and camel riding club.
The second phase will add 1,600 homes, a mosque and a golf academy. The existing hotel will be expanded and will be joined by a three-star hotel of 150 rooms.
In the final phase, an additional 3,000 housing units will be added, including 36 luxury villas on the waterfront of the project and a five-star hotel with 200 rooms.
The project also includes the addition of a floating berth to the fishing port to moor ferries and yachts.
The project was launched at a ceremony in Qurayyat, attended by local governor Yahya bin Suleiman al Nadabi and officials from the Ministry of Tourism, the Qurayyat Development Company and Al-Madina Real Estate.
Mr al Nadabi stressed the importance of the project in stimulating the area’s tourism industry. Khamis bin Mubarak al Kiyumi, the chairman of Al Madina, added: “We are proud to be the main developer of [the] Sahel project, as the design combines modernity and authentic Omani architecture, where the visitor and the tourist can touch the Omani features wherever they wander.”
Oman has long seen tourism as one of its main growth industries, and it has been successful in developing it in recent years. In 2019, the country attracted 4.1 million visitors compared with 3.1 million in 2017.
Qurayyat has been a popular destination, although not in the summer, when the heat can pose problems. In June 2018 it entered the world record books by recording a minimum daily temperature of 42.6°C.