oman construction Overview
will also be built. Explaining the progress in construction works, Bellew said major construction works are progressing at the airport sites. As many as 4000 workers are already engaged in work at Muscat airport only, he said. “Earthworks and ground stabilization works for the development of the new terminals are underway. Initial works, like fill for the runway and taxiway are at an advanced stage,” noted Bellew. However, Reuter’s reports that the development of Oman’s airport in Muscat has been delayed after excavation hit seawater. The additional cost could be as high as $500 mn. Oman National Railway Project The multi-billion Oman National Railway Project is another major infrastructure initiative of the Government of Oman, due for completion by 2017. Momentum is building up for the Omani link in the ambitious Gulf-wide rail network project, as the invitation of two bids for project management and design work for the rail project in 2010 suggests. As per the plans the national railway network will be developed in four phases. The project is going to be one of the crucial in the construction sector in Oman in the coming days. Oman’s railway system will be a part of the $20 billion 1,900 km long GCC railway network. Integrated Tourism Projects Integrated tourism projects in Oman are another important construction activity centres which attract huge investment and create job opportunities. For The Wave Muscat, 2010 is a milestone with nine holes of its Golf Course expected to be ready this year. The economic slowdown did not seem to have affected the projects of Muriya Tourism Development. At its Jebel Sifa complex, work is in different stages in all the 18 apartments, while finishing work is 8
OER DOSSIER December 2010
nearing completion on five blocks. Work on phase I of Muriya projects at Al Sodah Island and Salalah are also progressing. The first phase will feature five hotels including one boutique hotel. Nearing completion, the boutique hotel will open in the first quarter of 2011 and the rest in 2013. Masirah Sea-Bridge: The Government of Oman plans to commission an international consultant to study the feasibility of constructing a sea-bridge linking Masirah Island with the mainland. Given the length of the channel, which is roughly 30 km across at Shannah, this bridge project is said to be one of Oman’s biggest transport infrastructure ventures. When operational, the Masirah SeaBridge will open the island to major economic, commercial and tourism investment. Significant development is envisaged on the mainland side of the sea-bridge as well. Duqm Beach Hotel: Galfar Engineering & Contracting has been awarded a contract to commence construction of the Duqm Beach Hotel, the first luxury property in the Wusta region. Omran has awarded the contract valued at RO 16.717 million for the construction of the property. This four-star hotel on a 10-hectare plot overlooks the Arabian Sea and the site is located a short distance from Duqm Town.
Challenges Galore Answering questions on the challenges faced by the construction industry, Fawzi Al-Harrassy, Executive Director, Teejan Group, said currently the government makes sound policies for construction industry but it would be more appreciated if those policies were drafted in consultation with the industry. He further suggested that instituting awards to the best contracting companies similar to His Majesty’s Cup for Best Factories will be of great encouragement to the sector afterall construction industry makes progress tangible and creates landmarks. Due to the downfall across borders, a lot of contracting firms are coming to Oman currently. Competition itself has become challenging, though it also has positive connotations. Following the entry of international players in the construction sector, state-of-the-art technology has been introduced and there has been improvement in other areas of the industry also. Oman is not affected by the economic slowdown that hit the construction industry in other countries and development activities are progressing here in a planned manner. The industry is evolving. Though construction industry creates the highest number of employment opportunities and lays the foundation for overall development of the country, there is still a shortage of skilled people, many would admit.
Dossier - English - November 2010