Countries/Regional - Oman

Oman launches $1bn first phase of sustainable tourism city

May 2022

Countries/Regional - Oman

Oman launches $1bn first phase of sustainable tourism city

May 2022

The Yiti sustainable city in Oman has been officially launched by the country’s Tourism Development Company (Omran Group) and its main private sector backer, Diamond Developers.

The first contract to build a sustainable tourist resort in Muscat, capital of the Sultanate of Oman, has been won by local contractor Galfar Engineering & Contracting. The company will build the city of Yiti’s central plaza, as well as its commercial and residential buildings.

Galfar’s work will be worth about $195m (75 million Omani riyals) out of the total project cost of $1bn. The work was awarded by the Sustainable Development & Investment Company (SAOC), a joint venture between Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran Group) and Diamond Developers.

The project, announced in January, is aimed at attracting tourists to Muscat. The first phase will include 1,657 energy-efficient homes, including 300 villas. There will also be shops, schools, an equestrian center and the “SEE lab” to showcase the latest green technology.

According to a press release from Omran Group, the 100ha city will be the first in the Gulf state to meet global best practice in sustainable development. When complete in 2025, it will get all its energy from solar power and biogas. It will also grow much of its own vegetables, recycle its water and waste, and will have car-free zones where only autonomous shuttles are allowed.

Much of its attraction is based on the natural landscape around it, which combines mountains and sea.

Galfar announced the award in a filing to the Muscat Stock Exchange. It commented: “We expect these contracts to be important in underpinning the company’s revenues and in boosting its endeavors for expansion of its activities.”

Mohammed Salim Al Busaidi, chairman of Oman Tourism Development Company, commented: “As it’s being developed within one of the largest urban developments in the Middle East, it will open avenues for numerous lucrative investment opportunities for both local and international investors in line with the directions of the Oman Investment Authority

Muscat-based Galfar was founded in 1972 and describes itself as a multidisciplinary engineering and construction company with a turnover of more than $1bn, making it one of the top five construction companies in the Gulf. It employs around 23,000 people.

It works in the Omani market, mainly on infrastructure projects. Work under way includes Salalah International Airport in the south of the country and a number of road-widening and water projects, including a distribution network in Nizwa, a town about 80km southwest of Muscat.

Faris Saeed, chairman of Diamond Developers, added that the city would be “a working model for future cities”, in particular its use of sustainable energy, vertical farming, humidity harvesting and autonomous transport.

This will play a part in allowing Oman to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040