Posted inNewsResidential

Oman’s MoHUP unveils $1.3 Billion Al Khuwair waterfront project in Muscat

The visionary waterfront project by Oman’s MoHUP, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects is expected to transform Muscat into a sustainable urban oasis, catering to residents, visitors, and tourists

Oman’s MoHUP unveils $1.3 Billion Al Khuwair waterfront project in Muscat

Oman’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MoHUP) has announced plans for a reimagined waterfront project, Al Khuwair Muscat Downtown and Waterfront Development, to be set up in the capital at a total investment of $1.3 billion.

Spanning a 3.3 million sq m area, the project has been designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA). The sustainability-led design prioritises the well-being of residents and visitors, redefining urban living in Oman as Muscat’s population is anticipated to almost double from 1.5 million to 2.7 million inhabitants by 2040.

The city is also increasingly popular with international visitors, welcoming over 3 million tourists last year. Responding to this rapid growth, ZHA’s design will transform this existing administrative and industrial area of Muscat into a vibrant new urban district with an expected population of 64,500.

The district will comprise five key areas – a marina, a recreational waterfront lined with beaches and sports facilities, a canal walkway, a cultural quarter and a Ministry campus.

Incorporating residential areas and extensive mixed-use developments catering to government and commercial businesses, together with arts, culture, and leisure spaces, the district will be a thriving, environmentally resilient and sustainable development with a 24-hour community.

Continuing Muscat’s rich tradition as a historic port city, the Al Khuwair development is informed by local culture, with the marina acting as the cornerstone of the project, catering to residents, visitors, and tourists.

It will feature a range of attractions while emphasising green spaces and public realm along the waterfront, including destination dining experiences, luxury retail outlets, health and wellness facilities, hotels, and residential spaces, said the statement.

The Oman ministry and ZHA have jointly worked with global engineering, design and advisory practice Buro Happold to implement a materials strategy with specific interventions to assist with climate and coastal resilience, including mitigating any ‘urban heat island’ effects, stormwater management and breakwaters.

It prioritises material reuse, including recycled construction materials and responsible sourcing, and buildings within the Ministry campus will be retrofitted and reused through a programme of refurbishments.

Throughout the compact and walkable development, Transport-Oriented Development principles encourage the use of public transportation with good connections to transit services underpinning smart mobility, including light rail transit, bus rapid transit and water taxis.

Pedestrian activity is encouraged by introducing passive shading and cooling to the public realm, alongside cycle infrastructure to improve the safety and usability of active transport modes, while capitalising on the carbon savings of minimising private vehicle use, said the statement from the ministry.

Onsite renewable energy with solar energy will be maximised alongside a passive design strategy to limit energy demand and reduce water use in buildings and landscaping. Additionally, it is targeting a biodiversity net gain of 10% while conserving and restoring native plant species, it stated.

The announcement follows the appointment of ZHA to the project as part of 30 agreements signed with the ministry last month.

Dr Khalfan Al Shueili, Minister of Housing and Urban Planning, says, “This visionary project will bring us another step closer to realising the Oman Vision 2040 and delivering a sustainable and prosperous future for the people of Oman. It will help shape the future of both Muscat and Oman more broadly, creating a new destination to welcome visitors from across the globe to our capital city.”

Paolo Zilli, Project Director and Associate Director at Zaha Hadid Architects, adds, “Seamlessly integrated within the urban fabric of Muscat, Al Khuwair will create a bridge between the coastal landscapes of the Arabian Sea and the Hajar Mountains that surround the city. The project is designed to connect local and international communities while embracing a sustainable vision for the future that honours Muscat’s heritage”