Salalah - Muriya, the most diversified developer building the biggest destinations in Oman, successfully completed the 700-room Phase I of the hotel development plan in its flagship destination in the Governorate of Dhofar making it the largest contributor to the development of high-end hotels in Oman in the last 5 years. Marking the completion of this milestone, Muriya organised a celebration ceremony held under the auspices of H.E. Sayyid Muhammad bin Sultan Al Busaidi, Minister of State and Governor of Dhofar and participation of government dignitaries, as well as representatives and clients. The celebration included the Grand Opening of the company's third hotel, the 4-star 218-room Fanar Hotel & Residences.
Samih Sawiris, Chairman of Muriya and of Orascom Development Holding AG said "I would like to thank the Government of Oman, all its institutions and especially the Ministry of Tourism led by HE Ahmed Nasser Al-Mahrizi, Minister of Tourism for the continuous support and the robust investment developing the Sultanate's infrastructure, which has been key to the success of Orascom Development Holding and Omran's strategic partnership. We have invested over USD 500 million targeting the development of the largest Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITCs) in the country. Today we celebrate an important milestone that underlines our commitment to continue building bustling high-end touristic towns, develop new lifestyle experiences, and create direct and indirect jobs."
Samih Sawiris added, "Since its inception, Muriya has been spearheading the growth of high-end tourism, real estate and leisure sectors. Our development strategy has been helping transform Salalah into a leading prime international destination. Today we celebrate a huge step in turning into a reality what, for decades, has been a widely held belief in the potential of Salalah as a prime year-round destination. We are proud that the benefits of our commitment and efforts extend well beyond the limits of our projects. On the one hand, the 6 weekly direct flights from top European cities to Salalah that we helped start over the last few years are bringing around 50,000 tourists annually benefiting all of Dhofar hotels, while generating a strong traffic flow for the newly opened, state of the art Salalah Airport. On the other hand, our projects due to their developmental nature, are contributing to job creation well beyond the direct employment within our companies and hotels. Omani entrepreneurs, armed with smart ideas, are developing flourishing medium size businesses in our projects. Several of those young Omanis are channelling Omani Government SME funding in great examples of public and private partnership."
Khalid bin Musallam al Rawas, Director General of the Directorate General of Tourism in Dhofar said: "With the Government of Oman outlining tourism as a key sector in the latest 5 Year Plan 2016-2020 and vision Oman 2040, the completion of the first phase of Muriya's hotel development plan in Dhofar provides a substantial boost to its high-end hospitality infrastructure. According to the National Centre for Statistics (NCSI), a record 500,000 tourists visited the Governorate from June to August 2015, showing a 21% increase from the same period in 2014. We praise the efforts made by Muriya over the last few years developing Dhofar into a year round destination. The fact that Muriya's hotel rooms all have 4 and 5 star ranking makes Muriya's touristic development plan fully aligned with the Ministry's development objectives for the region."
Ahmed Dabbous, Muriya's Chief Executive Officer, said "We are extremely proud of what our destination has developed into. Our hotels have been well received by guests who have consistently ranked them among the top 3 hotels in Dhofar through online international rating agencies. We still have a lot of work to do, over the next few months we will be starting several interesting developments in our projects including a waterpark that is scheduled to open by end of 2017."
Ahmed Dabbous added, "Muriya is committed to providing a platform for small local entrepreneurs. In each of our projects, we have seen inspirational SME success stories. One example in Salalah is 'Around the Ocean', which provides various water activities. Started by a young Dhofari entrepreneur, Yousef Al Shanfari's leadership has been an inspiration for all of us turning a start up with one boat on service into a medium size business serving our hotels' guests and creating employment opportunities for local Omani talent. As we continue to grow, we will be working on adding more local SME partnerships and helping the growth of existing ones."
Adding to its diverse offerings, new F&B outlets were recently introduced including specialty coffeehouse chain Gloria Jean's Coffees and the picturesque Island Restaurant. The mixed-use development features an array of freehold villas and apartments, as well as leisure, retail and service facilities.
About Fanar Hotel & Residences
The latest addition to the destination, the Fanar Hotel & Residences gives guests the opportunity to experience a mixed use business-leisure facility. Its design philosophy reflects Oman's culture and the local traditions through a mélange of modern Arabic architecture. The hotel features 218 rooms including 13 suites, offering guests 44 and 67 sqm of modern space respectively, and spectacular views of the 171-berth marina or the Indian Ocean. Among its diverse range of amenities, the hotel includes a spa and fitness club, a ballroom and banquet halls, as well as a Business Centre and professionally-crafted meeting rooms. Other added-value leisure amenities of the hotel consist of three lounges covering the lobby and pool, in addition to all-day and speciality restaurants.
A key element in Muriya's developments is building on 25% of the land to increase green areas and conserve the environment, while adapting innovative building practices to save energy consumption. The company built the marina basin ensuring sea life remained undisturbed. The destination features 1,175 meters of canals and lagoons, safe for swimming and refreshed with 105,000m3 of seawater every four days without using pumps, creating a tidal effect. In addition, over 1,000 native coconut and frankincense trees were planted to transform barren land into a thriving green oasis and a nursery will cultivate 55 native species of flora and fauna.
Muriya is a joint venture between Orascom Development Holdings (70%), a leading developer of integrated destinations and Omran (30%), the tourism development arm of the Omani Government. The company was created in 2007 to stimulate external leisure investment in Oman and showcase the history, culture and natural beauty of the country, in which time it has grown into Oman's leading tourism developer. Muriya currently has four development projects in Sifah, Salalah, As Sodah Island and Muscat.
Jebel Sifah, located 20 minutes from Bandar Khayran, is spread over 6.2 million sqm and is designed to include six world-class hotels, of which the Sifawy Boutique Hotel is operational. It also houses freehold residences, an 84-berth marina, marina town, complete with cafes, restaurants and nightlife, while construction on the 18-hole PGA Harradine signature golf course is underway.
Muriya's flagship destination is located in the tropical city of Salalah in the far southeast of Oman, with an area of 13.6 million sqm and will house a total of seven hotels, of which Salalah Rotana Hotel and Juweira Boutique Hotel are operational. The third hotel to join the destination in February 2016 is the 218-room Fanar Hotel & Residences, totalling the available luxury hotel rooms to 700. The destination is home to a 171 berth marina, freehold residences, retail venues, restaurants and cafes. As Sodah Island is placed off the coast of Dhofar, located in the Indian Ocean and the commercial complex in Al Seeb located in the heart of the capital Muscat.
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© Press Release 2016