Oman’s Al Raid Group has announced plans to invest $1bn in the sultanate’s retail, leisure and tourism sectors over the next five years as it prepares to open two shopping malls.
The 135,000-square-metre Al Araimi Boulevard (pictured) in Seeb is scheduled to open in September, followed by what is claimed to be the country’s largest shopping mall, the OMR112m ($290.8m) Al Araimi Walk, in Barka in 2020.
The former spans 135,000 square metres and includes 220 stores, a 10-screen cinema, a food court with 1,200 seats, 3,000 parking spaces and what is claimed to be the country’s largest family entertainment centre.
The latter will be spread across 240,000 square metres and feature 264 stores, a four-star hotel, a ski park, ice-skating ring, indoor water park, trampoline park, rock climbing wall, virtual reality complex, a family entertainment centre and 5,400 parking spaces.
“Al Araimi Walk is considered one of the vital projects to be implemented by the private sector in response to the directives and guidance of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, to create a partnership between the private sector and the government,” said Al Raid chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al Araimi.
The company said Al Araimi Boulevard would provide 800 direct jobs and 1,200 indirect jobs with Al Araimi Walk providing a further 1,200 and 1,800 jobs in each category.
The two will compete with rival attractions, including Majid Al Futtaim’s upcoming Mall of Oman due to open in 2020.
The retail, leisure and entertainment facility will have 137,000 square metres of retail space, 350 outlets and a 292-room hotel.