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Oman set to break ground on $175m botanic garden

Oman is set to break ground on a $175m botanic garden that will be the largest of its kind in the Arabian Peninsula, due to complete by 2023.

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oman botanic garden

Oman is creating a $175m botanic garden in a bid to boost tourism. The attraction will be the largest of its kind in the Arabian Peninsula and one of the largest in the world.

“It will be one of the largest botanic gardens in the world,” said Minister of Heritage and Tourism Salim Al Mahrouqi (via The National).

“It will present an opportunity for visitors to experience the flora and vegetation of Oman while learning about the agricultural heritage, rich cultural traditions and legendary hospitality of the country.”

Oman Botanic Garden to complete in 2023

oman botanic garden

The design team is led by Arup alongside Grimshaw Architects and Haley Sharpe Design. Grimshaw said the Oman Botanic Garden will feature two biomes and surrounding habitats filled with endangered flora.

Located at the foot of the Al Hajar Mountains, the 420-hectare site will include a visitor centre, play area, nature reserve, and educational and research facilities.

Keith Brewis, Grimshaw partner, said: “The Oman Botanic Garden is an astonishing project with many layers of interwoven cultural and environmental significance. Its scale and diversity is truly world-leading.”

Tourism experts say the botanic garden is part of Oman’s plans to diversify its attractions, and an official connected to the project told The National it was estimated to cost around $175m.

420-hectare site located at Al Hajar Mountains

oman botanic garden

“It will be located in Al Khoudh in Muscat in an open space and in a very fertile area and away from the residential houses so we don’t disturb residents with traffic in and out of the site,” the official said.

“The aim is for it to be a second destination for tourists as an alternative to Salalah, to pull in more tourists to the capital Muscat,” Rashid Al Khalasi, a tourism expert at the National Travel Operator, told The National.

“The botanic garden will be a green village that tourists looking for relaxation in an area full of flowers, man-made streams and natural wildlife like birds will enjoy to visit.”

Images: Grimshaw

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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