The Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran) has joined hands with Bank Sohar as the chief financial partner for the development of the Crowne Plaza within the upcoming Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC) precinct.
The financing agreement, which is valued at $78m(OMR30m), was formalised in a signing ceremony held at Omran’s headquarters in Al Khuwair.
The agreement was signed by Eng Said al-Qasmi, chief project officer of OCEC on behalf of Omran and Rashad Ali al-Musafir, acting CEO of Bank Sohar, in an event attended by senior officials from Omran and Bank Sohar.
Eng Ali al-Rasbi, acting CEO of Omran noted, “As our financing partner for the new Crowne Plaza hotel at the OCEC precinct, Bank Sohar is playing an important role in the development of one of the most comprehensive conference and exhibition centers in the region. The new Crowne Plaza hotel adds significant guest capacity to the hospitality offering in Muscat, allowing us to welcome greater numbers of business visitors to the Sultanate.”
He added, “The agreement is part of the financial model pursued by Omran whereby private institutions work hand-in-hand with the government on commercial projects. We are currently looking at a similar model of funding for the upcoming JW Marriott Hotel also under development at the OCEC, which like the Crowne Plaza, is scheduled for completion in 2017.
The new four-star hotel will be operated by Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts, part of the InterContinental Hotel Group.
The hotel, currently under construction, includes food and beverage outlets, meeting facilities and a health and leisure club, will add an additional 296 keys to hotel offerings in the Sultanate.
Construction works on the OCEC continue at pace with exhibition halls scheduled for opening in Q1 2016.
“Omran’s role extends beyond that of a master developer. We have noticed an increasing appetite from investors to become involved in the nation’s rapidly growing tourism sector. Through agreements such as this, we are catering for such enthusiasm and at the same time enabling greater development within the sector,” added al-Rasbi.