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New leisure project opening in Barka in 2020

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

MUSCAT: Al-Raid Group celebrated yesterday the laying of the foundation stone of the Al-Araimi Walkway Project in Al-Sawmahan area in Wilayat Barka on an area of 140,000 square meters. The construction work will take about 20 months and will be ready for launch in November 2020.

The Walkway is part of Al-Raid Group’s portfolio of retail, leisure and tourism projects with an allocation of nearly 400 million Omani Rials to invest in these sectors over the next five years, serving the national economy and contributing thousands of direct and indirect jobs to job seekers.

Sheikh Raid bin Abdullah Al-Araimi, Deputy Chairperson of Al-Raid Group, told a news conference yesterday that after the completion of the Boulevard Project and realizing its vision of the role it should play towards society, it is time to launch its biggest and more massive project.

“Al-Araimi Walkway will be a commercial center with a commercial, entertainment and touristic objective. It will be an addition to the national economy, enhance the development process in the country, and translate the government’s directions in finding projects that play a role in providing employment opportunities within the framework of the partnership between the government and the private sector and maximizing its local investments. Once complete, the project will provide about 3,000 job opportunities, including 1200 direct and 1800 indirect,” said Al-Araimi.

“The investment climate in the Sultanate is stimulating and suitable for the establishment of investment projects to achieve added value to the national economy. There are investment opportunities in various sectors in light of the fact that the Omani national economy enjoys positive developments and elements at all levels,” added Vice Chairman of Al-Raid Group.

“There are many indicators that reflect the strength of the Omani economy due to the policies and plans of economic diversification adopted by the government led by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, which is capable of promoting growth during the coming years. The implementation of the Al-Araimi Walkway project stems from the Group’s conviction and confidence in the national economy and the strong financial stability enjoyed by the Sultanate, as illustrated by many indicators and prospects. This includes the forecast of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the Sultanate would achieve the quickest rate of growth among all the GCC countries during the current year at 5%. The public debt fell in 2018 compared to the same in 2017 in addition to the low and steady inflation level below 2%. In view of the results of companies listed on the Muscat Securities Market (MSM), their profits rose over the past year at a rate of 23% compared to 2017,” elaborated Al-Araimi.

He added that the Sultanate, in the framework of programs and plans to diversify the economy, is witnessing expansions in the volume of investment in various sectors, including the industrial sector. “For example, there are currently nine industrial cities with an investment value of 6.5 billion Oman Rials. The investments in other sectors, such as tourism, mining, fisheries and logistics is increasing significantly, and will double in the coming years. The government, through the National Program for Enhancing Economic Diversification (Tanfeedh), seeks to create a diversified economy by activating the non-oil sectors and double growth therein. The Sultanate will undergo major transformations to reduce dependence on the hydrocarbon sector. Non-oil sectors grew by 20% in 2018,” he said.

Sheikh Raid bin Abdullah Al-Araimi described the measures adopted by the Sultanate in dealing with the challenges and economic conditions as a successful and efficient way to avoid the consequences of what may happen in the future in terms of global crises. “They will help develop productive projects, provide added value to the national economy and provide employment opportunities for citizens in light of the Sultanate’s economic policies and robust financial solvency,” said Al-Araimi.

Al-Araimi said that the current situation in the Sultanate is ideal for investment and investors should seize the opportunities available in various sectors because with the developments in investment instruments, the individual can have a diversified investment portfolio at very competitive prices and stable and sustainable returns.

He pointed out in this regard that those wishing to invest should see the decline in property prices as a positive indicator because it is a catalyst in creating and strengthening the sector of small and medium enterprises. The low prices in this sector provides options for them to establish suitable projects on the ground at good prices to ensure their viability. As expenditure on housing has become low, a large part of the money will go to retail, savings and investment to achieve additional income for individuals.

“The trade sector in the Sultanate is witnessing continuous growth. According to the official data, the sector contribution to GDP increased by the end of September last year to 1.678 billion Omani Rials compared to 1.602 billion Omani Rials in the same period of 2017, an increase of 4.8%. This sector receives much attention in terms of implementing new projects that support public-private partnership, promote economic diversification, and provide jobs in large numbers for citizens,” asserted Al-Araimi.

Sheikh Raid bin Abdullah Al-Araimi indicated that the current and future stage necessitates the expansion in the establishment of integrated commercial centers in a modern style that meet the aspirations and needs of different segments of society in terms of shopping and entertainment and keep pace with growth and population expansion. Al-Raid Group plans to develop projects that serve this sector, enhance its contribution to the economy, provide employment opportunities for young people, and take the hands of entrepreneurs to find suitable facilities to practice their businesses and establish their projects.”

He pointed out that the Sultanate needs to establish commercial centers with integrated facilities in accordance with international standards in line with the population density and meet their needs. However, their objectives should include promoting local brands, embrace small and medium enterprises and allow them to be in commercial centers to become trademarks that have appeal. Therefore, the investors should provide them with lower rental rates to enable them to continue, grow and succeed. Al-Raid Group is starting to develop the commercial centers from the principle of interest in local brands and allow them to expand through backing the ambitious Omani youth.

The Deputy Chairman of Al-Raid Group said, “Our goal of Al-Araimi Walkway Project is to provide reasonable rental prices compatible with the potential of owners of small and medium enterprises. The commercial unit rent will range from 590 to 900 Omani Rials. This is reasonable given it is within a commercial center designed in accordance with high international standards and includes commercial, entertainment and tourist elements in a densely populated location.”

Al-Raid Group chose the Al-Sawmahan area in Barka to set up Al-Araimi Walkway Project because of the presence of Oman’s second-largest population with high purchasing power and a modern and integrated infrastructure of a modern network of roads, intersections and bridges linking the Al-Araimi Walkway to the Wilayats of Batinah North and South. It is also located next to Khazaen Project, a modern and integrated logistics city, making the area a multi-purpose destination of multiple services. The presence of Khazaen Project stresses the importance of a commercial and entertainment project that serves the population density and responds to their needs to enhance the competitiveness of Outlet Mall. Al-Araimi Walkway is the first marketing outlet developed by Al-Raid Group with international standards to be a distinctive brand and a forum for families, tourists and shoppers in light of the quality facilities and services it includes.

The Group has designed the project according to the highest international standards, combining the beauty of contemporary architectural design with the modern interior design. It also combines the distinctive picturesque nature of Oman through the design of spacious spaces with water lakes and green trees topped by a glass roof to highlight the beauty of the place, and to give all visitors a sense of comfort and sophistication.

Sheikh Raid bin Abdullah Al-Araimi indicated that the current and future stage necessitates the expansion in the establishment of integrated commercial centers in a modern style that meet the aspirations and needs of different segments of society in terms of shopping and entertainment and keep pace with growth and population expansion. Al-Raid Group plans to develop projects that serve this sector, enhance its contribution to the economy, provide employment opportunities for young people, and take the hands of entrepreneurs to find suitable facilities to practice their businesses and establish their projects.”

Al-Araimi Walkway includes many facilities that meet the aspirations of the various segments, including tourists from outside the Sultanate. In addition to the shopping, it also provides family entertainment. The project also includes a 4-star hotel, a full range of international luxury restaurants, cafes, fashion shops, beauty and accessories, jewelry and antiques as well as entertainment and adventure halls, cinema and bowling rooms, virtual reality games, a closed water park, and an ice town. It has also beautiful outdoor courtyards and super-beauty corridors designed to provide a convenient and relaxing atmosphere for shoppers and visitors.

He added that the selection of Barka for this project comes in accordance with the plan of the Group, which seeks to contribute to the promotion of development projects in various governorates of the Sultanate through the development of such facilities needed by the residents and visitors. The project provides about 374 shops, 5,400 parking spaces, and a 400-meter façade directly on Sultan Qaboos Street connected to a modern road network and direct entrances to the Walkway. It will be the largest entertainment destination with multiple options.

It is noteworthy that Al-Raid Group signed a construction agreement for the Al-Araimi Walkway with Al-Motameez Company.

It is noteworthy that Al-Raid Group was established in 1974 by Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Araimi. Through its long and distinguished experience, it is keen to participate in supporting and developing the Omani economy through its long experience in real estate development and management. It also has a record of success in the completion of projects with high quality and on time.

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