Oman


Kempinski to open its Muscat hotel next year


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Muscat: Giving a fillip to the tourism sector and to meet the increasing demand for hotel rooms, European luxury hotel company Kempinski will be opening its doors in Oman in the final quarter of 2015.

Speaking to the Times of Oman, Peter Willmott, Project Director for Faithful+Gould, stated Kempinski The Wave, Muscat will offer an enthralling experience, combining 309 rooms with 77 branded residences, seven restaurants, a ballroom that can accommodate more than 750 people and luxury spa facilities at its evocative beachfront location.

"The resort will have a beach club with recreational and health facilities including tennis courts, a spa and swimming pools, a six lane bowling alley, male and female hair salon and various luxury F&B outlets," he said.

Willmott leads a team that is responsible for the construction of Kempinski Hotel which started major works in September 2013.

The project, owned and developed by the Omani Hospitality Co, will establish a five-star hotel covering a plot of 43,878-square-metres. 

Employment creation
The hotel is expected to create more than 600 jobs, including professional roles for a large number of Omanis.

The hotel is to be operated and managed by Kempinski Hotels S A, an international hotel chain established in 1897, which, currently, manages and operates 74 hotels in 30 countries all over the world. 

"Muscat residents can enjoy a good time in a five-star hotel in Muscat as Kempinski The Wave, Muscat, which will be situated in a superb beachfront location adjacent to Almouj Marina. Muscat is getting a five-star hotel just next to Muscat International Airport," Willmott added.

Spread along a stunning 6km stretch of Muscat's coastline, The Wave, a world-class mixed-use community, comprises luxury hotel and residential properties, retail and dining facilities and Oman's only signature designed PGA Standard 18 hole links golf course, designed by Greg Norman.

The Wave, Muscat is also home to the 400 berth Almouj Marina, Oman's largest private yachting hub.

The Kempinski Residences apartments will be located in the adjacent building next to the Kempinski Hotel and managed by Kempinski for long stays and leasing.

The resort will be built to a maximum six-storey height with options of valet parking for guests. The hotel concept references local architecture and villages in the area. 

The Omani Hospitality Company is a JV created as a result of participatory efforts between some Omani retirement funds including the Civil Service Employees Pension Fund; Diwan of Royal Court Pension Fund; Ministry of Defence Pension Fund; Royal Oman Police Pension Fund; Internal Security Services Pension Fund and the Sultan's Special Forces Pension Fund; in addition to the Oman National Investment Development Corporation and Oman Brunei Investment Company.

Another premier hotel chain that plans to enter Oman is Paramount Hotels & Resorts - a Dubai-based hotel chain with the licensing rights for properties using the Hollywood producer's brand.

Thomas van Vliet, CEO of Paramount Hotels and Resorts, reportedly said that the tourism industry in Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Doha was "very promising and bodes further investment opportunities."

Van Vliet, according to media reports, is currently negotiating management agreements for hotels located in Oman, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the UK, Dominican Republic and Brazil.

When contacted, a spokesperson for the hotel chain said, "There are some ongoing discussions and negotiations to bring the Paramount Hotels & Resorts brand to Oman but at this point of time we cannot say more than this." 

It already has partnered with developer Damac to build a Paramount-branded hotel and residences twin tower project in Dubai and a hotel in Riyadh.

Indeed, the first property, the 753-room Paramount Hotel Dubai — part of the huge $1 billion Damac Towers by Paramount development — is being conceived as a major release planned for 2016.

To get in touch with the reporter: rahul@timesofoman.com

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