Work has officially begun on the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre in Muscat, after a ground breaking ceremony in the Omani capital Monday.
The massive project – which includes 25,000 m2 exhibition space and 85,000 m2 of offices, plus four hotels and a shopping mall – will be the country’s first meetings, conference and exhibitions centre. At the centre is an auditorium capable of seating 3,000 people.
HE Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki, Oman’s minister of national economy, said that the development was set to put Oman on the international conference and business map.
“This facility will allow Oman to become a major new destination for conferences, exhibitions and other major business events. These will have a major impact on our economy in the future, creating many hundreds of jobs for Omanis and attracting hundreds of thousands of business travellers each year,” he said.
The development is being carried out by Omran, the country’s state-sponsored developer, which also recently finished work on the Asian Beach Games arena near Muscat, which hosted the global competition at the end of 2010.
Omran chairman HE Rajiha bint Abdul Ameer bin Ali, who is also Omani minister of tourism, said that the exhibition centre would have a significant impact on the country’s tourism industry.
“Over recent years, Oman has taken major strides forward in attracting tourists to our many leisure resorts and hotels. Our strategy has always been to target the business sector too and this investment will provide us with an outstanding venue for conferences and exhibitions.”
Omran’s growing project portfolio is worth around US$10 billion.