What key characteristics of the Omani housing market have been incorporated into the complex?
The design brief was initiated with Omani styling and aesthetics as an important feature of the project. Through its location nestled in the mountains with beautiful sweeping views of the sea, it provides enhanced privacy and ample natural light and fresh air. You will also find design motifs in the architecture that are Omani in their essence. Sustainability was another important part of the entire design and planning. We have used renewable energy where possible, and on-site water treatment plants were employed to minimize wastage. All of these factors have helped to reduce the carbon footprint of the entire project and finally we have been careful to ensure that there is no oversupply of units to the market.
What role does the complex play in Oman's tourism and real estate sector?
Muscat Bay is nestled in the Hajar Mountains and faces the Gulf of Oman. Based on this location and its proximity to Muscat and the rich history of the capital as well as the entire region, it is the ideal tourist base or a perfect, quiet getaway, and for this we will have two five-star hotels. As a real estate project, Muscat Bay offers a limited number of exclusive units, 435 to be precise. These include spacious hilltop palaces, villas, and duplexes as well as luxury residences that will be open to investment by Omani nationals as well as expatriates and foreigners.
How has the increase in financing options, especially housing loans, impacted the market?
The diversification of financing options has had a hugely positive impact on the market by providing Omanis and expatriates with easier access to housing finance. This has helped the housing sector sustain and even grow during the pandemic. People have been able to invest in houses across the country whether as personal or business investments. One of the most important elements that the government and private sector must work on is increasing the freehold properties for sale in the country, as Oman could easily be a second home for many people.
How has the departure of hundreds of thousands of expats last year impacted you and your strategy going forward?
The pandemic has impacted every aspect of economic growth, including a reducation in the number of expatriates. However, keeping these factors in mind we have looked at various strategies that adapt to these changing dynamics and various solutions were implemented to reassure prospective buyers. Some of them include the continuation of our 0% interest flexible payment plan and introducing the rent-to-own concept that helped buyers looking at owing a property at Muscat Bay push their purchase decision to three years. In times like this, it is important to be resilient and have strategies aimed at building investor confidence.
What are the major trends in Oman and how are you incorporating them in your strategy?
Among the major new initiatives of the government is Tanfeedh. In this context, our role would be in the tourism sector. We are also closely following the offers of tax exemptions to investors and the initiatives on freehold properties, both of which can play important parts in our own strategy.
What are your strategic growth priorities for 2021/2022?
Our key area of focus is promoting the integrated lifestyle concept and exclusive offerings at Muscat Bay to both an audience within Oman and abroad. With the Village Square and Jumeirah Resort both scheduled to be ready by the end of the year, we expect a substantial increase in visitors and investors. We are looking at targeting specific markets while maintaining an omnichannel presence through campaigns and events. We believe in working tirelessly, guided by our objective and implementing growth strategies aimed at each stage with concerted efforts to reach our goals.