The Muscat National Development Company SAOC (ASAAS) has announced that it will build a huge theme park and leisure cluster. The site is in Barka and it will provide a significant boost to Oman tourism.
The Barka Entertainment and Leisure Destination will be in the form of a cluster of attractions. These will include an integrated theme park, a waterpark, a wildlife park, an equestrian center and an edutainment center.
The destination will also feature a number of hotels together with a residential zone and retail areas. The resort will therefore offer a range of leisure, retail and dining options. The site is on the beach around a kilometre long, so is ideally placed for a leisure destination.
The Barka Entertainment and Leisure Destination
The ambitious 1.5 million square meter resort’s Masterplanner is Singapore based Surbana Jurong. This is one of Asia’s biggest urban and infrastructure development Consultants. It has over 13, 000 employyes and offices in 40 countries.
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.”
The plot of 1.5 million square meters, formlerly known as Blue City, was transferred by Muscat Finance Corporation Limited (MFCL) through one of its group companies, to ASAAS.
ASAAS has chosen a well known Orlando-based firm to operate the theme park and wildlife park. It will reveal the names of other partners in the project soon.
“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, ” Khalid said.
A highlight among the attractions, will be the Interactive Science and Technology Edutainment Centre. The aim of this is to be an inspirational knowledge hub for Oman’s young demographic.
Developing Oman Tourism
Furthermore, Oman’s famed horsemanship will be celebrated with an Equestrian Centre. It is hoped this will become the main centre for equestrian sport in the country. There will be a riding academy, show jumping and livery facilities together with retail outlets and dining.
ASAAS, waas founded in 2014. It aims to increase the economic contributions of the non-oil and gas sectors in the country. It does this by by initiating and developing sustainable projects to meet the needs of the public and enrich life in Oman. Boosting Oman tourism is a key part of its strategy.
The Barka Entertainment and Leisure Destination is a major project from ASAAS. It also established Oman’s first budget airline, SalamAir. In addition it announced the Hilton Garden Inn and a multi-use facility in Al Khuwair.