MARCH 13, 2024

Light rail, water taxis envisioned as part of $1.3 bn Al Khuwair Downtown project

Muscat: With a price tag of $1.3 billion, the Al Khuwair Muscat Downtown development isn't just about transforming Oman's capital. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MoHUP) aims to create a blueprint for sustainable urban living, attracting investors seeking environmentally responsible projects.

According to details shared by the project’s consultants, Al Khuwair Downtown will prioritize a ‘transport-oriented development’ approach. This means residents can ditch their cars and embrace a light rail network, bus rapid transit, and water taxis. Not only does this offer residents convenient and cost-effective options for getting around, but it also significantly reduces carbon emissions.

Likewise, the project will incorporate passive shading and cooling methods and cycling infrastructure to encourage pedestrian engagement and enhance the safety and accessibility of alternative transportation options.

But the green features don't stop there. The development is designed to minimize energy consumption through a "passive design strategy” that prioritizes the use adoption of smart building orientation and materials that keep things cool naturally. On top of that, the project will harness the power of the sun with extensive use of solar energy.

This focus on sustainability translates to lower operational costs for businesses and residents in the long run, making Al Khuwair Downtown an even more attractive proposition.

Significantly, the project will provide a variety of amenities, such as upscale dining options, luxury retail stores, wellness centers, hotels, and residential areas.

Furthermore, to ensure resilience against climate and coastal challenges, the Ministry partnered with a leading global engineering, design, and advisory firm to devise a materials strategy that includes specific measures to counter urban heat island effects, handle stormwater, and build breakwaters.

The strategy also prioritizes material recycling, incorporating recycled construction materials and responsibly sourced materials. Additionally, the Ministry campus will undergo retrofitting and renovation to enhance sustainability.

Investors with an eye toward Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors will be particularly interested in Al Khuwair Downtown's commitment to biodiversity. The project aims for a remarkable 10% net gain, meaning it will actively conserve and restore native plant species.

This creates a more sustainable ecosystem within the development, showcasing a commitment to environmental responsibility that resonates with today's investors.

The Al Khuwair Muscat Downtown project positions Oman as a frontrunner in sustainable development. By embracing transport-oriented development features, renewable energy, and biodiversity, the Omani government is creating a model for future projects and a magnet for investors seeking not just returns, but a development that contributes to a greener future.