Muscat: Contracts for building a five-star and a four-star hotel, part of the massive Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC), will be awarded in September this year.
"One of these hotels is a five-star property, while the other one is a four-star hotel. We are now evaluating the bids (financial and technical bids submitted by contracting firms)," Abdul Wahid Al Farsi, vice president – external affairs, Oman Tourism Development Company (Omran), told Times of Oman.
The operator for the four-star hotel will be Crown Plaza, while an operator for the five-star property has yet to be finalised. Each hotel will have 300 rooms, bringing the total room capacity to 600.
Omran, the Sultanate's tourism development and investment arm, is developing Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, which is being built some four kilometres from Muscat International Airport.
Al Farsi said it will take two years to complete construction of these two hotels, whose completions are planned to coincide with the opening of the convention and exhibition centre in 2017.
Also, plans are afoot to build two more hotels – a four-star and a three-star at a later stage. "There will be two additional hotels, hopefully two to three years down the line," said Al Farsi.
The OCEC, one of the very few convention centres in the world to be developed within a fully integrated convention precinct, is supported by a five-star, two four-star and a three-star hotel, totalling 1,000 rooms, as well as a shopping mall and commercial business park.
Al Farsi noted that Omran and its joint venture hotels have a combined strength of 1,952 hotel rooms in the country, and once the current projects are completed, there will be an additional 2,934 rooms available in the next three to four years.
The exhibition hall at OCEC will have 22,000 square metres of floor space, which can be divided into separate exhibition halls, as each has its own registration area. Meanwhile, construction of the exhibition hall is continuing, which was the first large building package and includes a car park, a district cooling plant and ancillary buildings.
A contract for building a 3,100-seat capacity main auditorium and banquet halls, part of the prestigious Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre project, is also expected to be awarded before the year-end.
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