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
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