Al Madina Company Unveils Unique Project to Develop Al Khuwair Natural Reserve

Muscat, The Diwan of Royal Court, represented

by the Office for Conservation of the Environment, today signed a

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Al Madina Real Estate

Company to develop Al Khuwair Natural Reserve and transform it into a

project with distinct environmental, economical, and social benefits.

The project is the first of its kind between the public and private sectors

that is focused on developing and investing in a nature reserve. The

details of the project were unveiled during a press conference held at

the Grand Millennium Hotel Muscat.

The MoU was signed by Hussain bin Ali bin Abdul Latif, Advisor

at the Diwan of Royal Court, Acting Secretary General of the Diwan,

representing the Office for Conservation of the Environment, and Eng.

Abdulrahman Awadh Barham, CEO of Al Madina Real Estate

Company.

The MoU states that Al Madina Real Estate Company will

develop the Reserve, which covers an area of 300,000 square meters

and prepare it for visitors from Oman and abroad. It will do so through

the implementation of various green areas, walkways, and the

introduction of a number of electric cars for visitors to use. In addition, it

will install guidance signs and explanatory images all over the Reserve,

together with a number of special telescopes to enable visitors to

observe wildlife in the reserve.

Additionally, Al Madina Company will establish an ecological

mall on a 24,000 square meter piece of land that extends into the

reservation. It will feature a design that takes into consideration the

environmental objectives of the project. This new mall will be

connected to Muscat Grand Mall via an overhead bridge, allowing

visitors to move freely between the malls.

Commenting on the signing of the MoU, Hussain bin Ali bin

Abdul Latif said, The signing of the MoU with our private sector

partner, Al Madina Real Estate Company, comes as part of our ongoing

efforts to protect and maintain local wildlife, develop natural reserves,

and incorporate it into the local economy. The signing is aimed at

developing Al Khuwair Natural Reserve, a first of its kind initiative

between the public and the private sectors in the field of eco-economy.

We are confident that this initiative will pave the way for other initiatives

of its kind in the country, which will in turn support the government’s

ongoing efforts towards economic diversification.

Eng. Abdulrahman Awadh Barham commented saying, We are

very pleased with this partnership with the Diwan of Royal Court,

represented by the Office for Conservation of the Environment, which is

aimed at providing an eco-tourism destination right here in the heart of

Muscat. We will work hard to make this a leading example of

successful partnerships between the two sectors. Furthermore, we aim

at contributing towards the development goals of the Sultanate by

drafting a general plan for the region in such a way that it allows

everyone to enjoy their visit while learning about the ecological history

of Oman and also enjoying the shopping and entertainment offered by

one of the leading mall in the country.

The MoU also includes the establishment of administrative offices

within the project area, as well as an environmental library of the

reserve (an integrated information centre for visitors) on an area of no

less than 1,000 square meters; which will provide visitors with any

documents, information, and publications related to the reserve and

the environment that they may be interested in. It also outlines the

establishment of a multipurpose hall covering an area of 1,000 square

meters equipped with all modern supplies and technologies for events.

The project will also include a special centre for traditional handicrafts

to support the local community and entrepreneurs, as well as a corner

for souvenirs and artworks that reflects the environmental heritage of

the Sultanate. Furthermore, ample parking spaces will be made

available for visitors.

In addition, the project will include the construction of a new mall

built in a unique environment friendly design that blends in with the

Reserve. This mall will have high terraces that will allow visitors to

observe the reserve from above and television screens that will

broadcast a live feed that will allow visitors to watch wildlife from inside

of the mall.

The primary idea behind this partnership was to provide an effective

example for the role the private sector can play in supporting the

government’s development efforts. The project will be a value addition

to the educational and recreational facilities available in the country

and will help in raising environmental knowledge and awareness, all in

the heart of the capital. It will also attract different segments of the

society, as well as tourists who would like to get to know the rich history

and the unique biological diversity available in Oman. We plan on

planting a number of trees and plants native to the region within the

reserve and will resettle a number or rare species of animals in order to

protect them, as well as provide visitors with an opportunity to get a

better understanding of their lifestyle and habit. Once completed, this

will be a truly enjoyable and educational journey for visitors of all

ages, Eng. Abdulrahman added.

The project is expected to be completed in 2021 and will be the

perfect destination for visitors, researchers, specialists, and enthusiasts

interested in learning about Oman’s ecological treasures and

experience the pleasure of shopping at one of the best malls in the

country all at the same time.

The signing ceremony was attended by Yasser bin Obaid al-

Salami, Director General of the Office for Conservation of the

Environment, and Hassan Jaboub, CEO of the Tilal Development

Company, together with other senior members of management at the

Diwan of Royal Court and Al Madina Group and media representatives.

Source: Oman News Agency