Muscat, December 22nd 2016

Muscat National Development & Investment Company (ASAAS),  has announced its third major project in the Sultanate – a world-class multi-cluster 1.5 million square meter entertainment and leisure destination to be built in Barka. Promoting domestic and international tourism, this mega-project has been specifically planned to complement and enhance the Sultanate’s existing tourism attractions.

The first development of its kind and scale in Oman, this outstanding national asset will boast an integrated theme park, a wildlife and waterpark, an equestrian center and edutainment center as well as multiple hotels, a residential zone, retail areas that will offer a range of retail, leisure and dining options.

Muscat Finance Corporation Limited (MFCL) has transferred, through one of its group companies, a plot of 1.5 million square meters in its project, previously known as Blue City, to Muscat National Development Company SAOC (ASAAS).

Eng. Khalid Al Yahmadi, ASAAS CEO said: “The result of extensive local and regional research and consultation, this entertainment and leisure destination, in common with all ASAAS projects and investments, will support the Sultanate’s agenda to diversify the economy and drive societal progress. It will, without a doubt, add new vitality and impetus to Barka and the surrounding area but the immense scale of the destination means that its impact will extend well beyond the immediate vicinity of its operations. Indeed, benefiting the country as a whole, it will deliver sustainable economic returns, attract investment, stimulate development and enterprise, and create a multitude of direct and indirect job opportunities.”

He went on to explain that ASAAS has identified a renowned American company based out of Orlando, Florida to operate the theme park and wildlife park and that the names of other partners in this mega-project will be announced in the near future.  He further stressed that the family-oriented destination in Barka will be able to strongly communicate its unique offerings to the public and also leverage the beauty of the natural landscape to showcase Oman’s heritage and traditions, honouring local culture and history through its design, architecture and activities.

Built on a high-profile premium destination stretching approximately one kilometer on the beach front, the project will offer both lifestyle and educational aspects for children and adults. Among other attractions, visitors will enjoy an innovative learning-focused dimension will be the Interactive Science and Technology Edutainment Centre, designed to be an inspirational knowledge hub for Oman’s young demographic. In addition, celebrating Oman’s famed horsemanship will be an Equestrian Centre. Planned to be the main center for equestrian sports in the country, it will include a riding academy and show jumping and livery facilities along with dedicated shops and food outlets.

The Destination’s Masterplanner is Surbana Jurong, one of Asia’s largest urban and infrastructure development Consultants. Headquartered in Singapore, Surbana Jurong has a global workforce of 13,000 employees in over 95 offices across 40 countries in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

ASAAS was found in 2014 through the concerted efforts of key government entities and Pension Funds, aims to increase the economic contributions of the non-oil and gas sectors by initiating and developing sustainable projects to meet the needs of the public and enrich life in Oman. Over the next five to ten years it will develop a diverse portfolio of projects worth approximately OMR1 billion, which will contribute to the country’s economic diversification strategy and connect the people to the national agenda. The Barka Entertainment and Leisure Destination is a key project to be launched by ASAAS and follows on from its establishment of SalamAir, Oman’s first budget airline, the announcement of Hilton Garden Inn and of a multi-use facility in Al Khuwair.

About ASAAS

Muscat National Development and Investment Company (ASAAS) was founded in 2014 through the concerted efforts of 10 key government entities. The company aims to increase the economic contributions of the non-oil and gas sectors by identifying new opportunities and intelligent solutions that meet public needs and enrich the quality of life of people in Oman.

ASAAS’ business strategies challenge the status quo by adopting a holistic approach to deliver sustainable economic returns and impactful social value through the integrated development of core sector supply chains. Over the next five to ten years, the company will be collaborating with public and private players in the areas of tourism, logistics, retail, transportation, healthcare and education to develop a diverse portfolio of projects valued at approximately OMR 1 Billion.

These will include hotels, Mixed-Use developments with residential and commercial components as well as theme parks to name but a few; all of which will contribute to the country’s diversification strategy and connect people to the national agenda. One of ASAAS’ anchor projects is Oman’s first budget airline, which is anticipated to advance the country’s tourism and aviation sectors.