Construction of Khazaen Food City will begin in Q1, 2022, according to authorities associated with the project. The project will boost country’s self-reliance on fruits and vegetables.
The RO 40m initiative is a major public-private partnership project which will replace the present Fruit and Vegetables Market in Mawaleh. The wholesale and storage activities of Khazaen Economic City will also enhance the country’s food security and make it a hub for shipment and transhipment activities.
The project’s capital subscription and financial closure worth RO 40 million were completed by the private sector and a local bank at a ceremony held under the auspices of Isam bin Saud al Zadjali, Head of Muscat Municipality. Dignitaries from government and private sectors were present on occasion.
“We look forward to making the market an investment destination that attracts local and foreign investments. The proximity of the market to the airport and the current Al Mawaleh market is a great attraction for investing in the project,” said Al Zadjali.
The project financing agreements, part of relocating the fruit and vegetable storage and wholesale activities from Al Mawaleh Central Market to Khazaen Central Market in Khazaen Economic City in the Wilayat of Barka, were signed on Wednesday.
The first agreement for the shareholders’ capital subscription and the second for bank financing agreement with Sohar Islamic Bank was signed in pursuance of the royal directives that called on the private sector and businessmen to invest in local opportunities in all sectors to boost the country’s position as an attractive and leading investment destination.
The first agreement was concluded to complete the equity subscription with Oman Infrastructure Fund (Rakiza), Salim and Partners LLC, Al Kalbani Group and Khazaen Development and Investment Company, as shareholding partners in Khazaen Fruit and Vegetable Central Market SAOC, which will fund, develop and manage the new market in Khazaen Economic City.
“The signing of both agreements marks the completion of the project capital subscription and total financing amounting to about RO 40,000,000, which will be allocated to the development, establishment and operation of the Khazaen Central Market,” Eng Kalat al Balushi, Board Chairman of Khazaen Economic City told the Observer.
“We are happy with this strategic partnership with major partners from the private sector and we highly value and appreciate the trust of the government, represented by the Muscat Municipality, and its support in enabling the private sector to play its part in the development of quality and national projects that contribute significantly to achieving food security and an economic revenue for the country in the framework of Oman Vision 2040 considering the private sector to be a major driver of the national economy,” he added.
The bank financing agreement was signed between Sohar Islamic Bank and Khazaen Fruit and Vegetable Central Market SAOC to provide financing facilities for the new market project.
“The first priority of moving from the present market to Khazaen Central Market will be for the existing merchants in Al Mawaleh Market,” according to Engineer Tariq al Mujaini, Project Manager of Khazaen Central Market for Fruits and Vegetables.
“While all priorities are given to our existing merchants, new initiatives are welcome, and a special hall for the local produce will be set up at the Khazaen Central Market targeting farmers,” Al Mujaini added.
The new fruit and vegetable market in Khazaen Economic City consists of high-quality logistics facilities and services, such as an air-conditioned wholesale market and trading floor, truck sales area, onion and potato sorting and selling sheds, dry warehouses, agricultural products reception building, forklift operation station, ten gates for customs inspection and plant quarantine, administration offices for the companies working in the market, agriculture samples examination laboratory under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture,Fisheries and Water Resources. The market will also include retail outlets to cover the incoming demand from the surrounding areas of the city. Additionally, there will be a large refrigerated trading room strategically located in the Centre of the Khazaen Market for the use of the stakeholders. Abdulwahid, MD of Suhol al Fayha, KV Group International, hoped the Khazaen Market would be the ideal place for investments and trade in the future.
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