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Oman announces stunning $1.3bn waterfront project in Muscat

Article-Oman announces stunning $1.3bn waterfront project in Muscat

Muscat Oman Waterfront
Muscat Oman Waterfront (photo used for illustrative purposes)
Oman unveils vital $1.3bn waterfront project in Muscat by Zaha Hadid Architects, focusing on sustainability and urban growth.

Oman's Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MoHUP) has revealed plans for a revamped waterfront project. The project, named Al Khuwair Muscat Downtown and Waterfront Development, involves an investment worth $1.3 billion.


Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), a British architecture and design firm, the project covers a huge area of 3.3 million square meters. The design focuses on sustainability and prioritizes the well-being of residents and visitors. It aims to redefine urban living in Oman.


Muscat welcomed 3 million tourists last year, and its popularity among international visitors is growing. The city's population is also expected to almost double from 1.5 million to 2.7 million by 2040. So, these factors make investing in the city an important opportunity.


The development will comprise five main areas:

  1. A marina.
  2. A recreational waterfront with beaches and sports facilities.
  3. A canal walkway.
  4. A cultural quarter.
  5. A Ministry campus.

The district will have residential areas and mixed-use developments for government and commercial businesses. It will also include spaces for arts, culture, and leisure. The goal is to build a lively, eco-friendly, and sustainable community that runs 24/7.


Al Khuwair's development in Muscat draws from the city's heritage as a port city. It embraces local culture and aims to become a vibrant hub. The centrepiece will be a marina offering attractions for residents and tourists alike. Alongside this, there will be green spaces, dining options, retail stores, hotels, and homes.


The Oman ministry and ZHA partnered with Buro Happold, a global engineering, design, and advisory practice, to put in place sustainable measures. Together, they aim to put in place sustainable solutions. These include:

  • A materials strategy to enhance climate and coastal resilience.
  • Mitigation of 'urban heat island' effects.
  • Stormwater management.
  • Introduction of onsite renewable energy with solar energy.
  • A passive design strategy to reduce energy demand.
  • Reduction of water use in buildings and landscaping.
  • Targeting a biodiversity net gain of 10%.
  • Conservation and restoration of native plant species.


Transport-oriented development principles promote public transportation like light rail transit, bus rapid transit, and water taxis. These principles focus on pedestrian activity. They achieve this by providing passive shading and cooling in public areas. Additionally, they include cycle infrastructure to enhance safety and usability. So, these measures aim to encourage sustainable and accessible modes of transportation.


Dr. Khalfan Al Shueili, Oman's Minister of Housing and Urban Planning, is optimistic about the project. He believes it aligns with Oman Vision 2040 and it will help Oman's future.

Paolo Zilli, Project Director at Zaha Hadid Architects, talked about how the project fits into Muscat's urban fabric. He mentioned connecting coastal landscapes and mountainous terrain.

Federico Cassani, Partner and Global Director Of Transport & Mobility at Buro Happold, praised the project's engineering excellence. He also mentioned its commitment to community well-being and ecology.

Carlos Castelló, Head of Strategic Consulting at CBRE, stressed the consortium's role. He said it would transform Muscat into an international reference point. Castelló also highlighted the importance of ensuring the project's success.


The Al Khuwair Muscat Downtown and Waterfront Development project is a big move towards sustainable urban development and economic growth in Oman's capital. It represents a significant step forward.

TAGS: oman
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