Abu Dhabi-based retail firm Lulu Group has signed an operation contract with Oman’s ministry of defence to run a military commercial complex.
The commercial complex will include a shopping mall, stores, a food court and a play area, a statement said. It will also have other administrative services and prayer rooms.
The project will cover a total area of 460,000 square metres with the commercial complex occupying almost 17,000 square metres. It will have about 1,600 car parking slots, the ministry said.
Mahmoud Bin Nasser Al Riyami, director of procurement at the office of the secretary general of the ministry of defence, said that the project aims to provide basic goods and supplies at discounted rates to employees of the ministry and the Sultan’s Armed Forces.
Located in Muscat at Mua’skar Al Murtafa’h area, he added that the project will mainly cater to the employees of the military and their families while also being open to general public.
Al Riyami said that a board of directors would also be formed for the commercial complex in order to keep a check on prices and ensure that they are in line with the discounted rates.
The construction contract to build the military commercial complex, which has an estimated value of OMR8 million ($20.8 million), was awarded to a local firm, the statement said.
Meanwhile, Lulu Group’s managing director Yussuf Ali MA said that the project will employ more than 200 Omanis.
Oman’s retail market has been growing steadily on the back of a booming population, according to real estate consultancy Cluttons.
Around 380,000 sq m of retail space will become available over the next two years across major malls in Oman, it said.
The agency noted that the Sultanate has also been seeing a growing demand for high street retail units.
“Retailers on Muscat’s high street focus on the requirements and spending power of the general population rather than being more aspirational, as is generally the case with the larger malls,” said Philip Paul, head of Cluttons Oman.
“While these outlets are perceived to be lower quality, they remain highly popular within the market. The wider retail market has also remained very vibrant.”