Oman Tourism has announced that Muscat Oman is set to make a presence in the MICE sector of the tourism industry with the laying of the foundation stone for the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The landmark centre, with a total seating capacity of 3,000 people, 25,000sqm of exhibition space, banquet and conference halls, hotels, a business park, a large shopping mall and food court is expected to change the business identity of Oman, and make it a favoured destination for the business traveller.
The stone for the facility was laid last week, by His Excellency Ahmed Bin Abdulnabi Macki, Minister of National Economy and Deputy Chairman of Financial Affairs and Energy Resources Council.
“This facility will allow Oman to become a major new destination for conferences, exhibitions and other major business events. These will have a major impact on our economy in the future, creating many hundreds of jobs for Omanis and attracting hundreds of thousands of business travellers each year,” Macki said.
The banquet building of the conference centre, which will occupy a total area of 6,000sqm, will include a grand ballroom on the first floor with a net area of 2,500sqm and a seating capacity of 1,500 people. This will make it the largest ballroom in Muscat. The centre will also boast five column-less exhibition halls, with 25,000sqm of exhibition space, which has been designed to maximise flexibility of usage, with the ability to host plenary sessions.
The highlight of the project will be the convention centre, which will be circular in shape and roofed with a central dome shaping its architectural character. The auditorium, which will have a seating capacity of 3,000 people, will be built in three levels to allow for a closer viewing distance to the stage.
Mona Tannous, country manager for Oman Tourism in Australia and New Zealand said “Although Oman has recently been focused on developing infrastructure and hotels and resorts for the leisure traveller, the strategy has always been to target the business sector too. We are very excited about the development of this new facility which will be completed by December 2012, as it will provide us with an outstanding venue which will enable Oman to host many more international conferences and exhibitions.”