A VISION

Oman 2019 | TOURISM | INTERVIEW

TBY taks to Sheikh Raid Abdullah Al Araimi, Vice Chairman of Al Raid Group, on Tourism sector.

Sheikh Raid Abdullah Al Araimi
BIOGRAPHY
Sheikh Raid Abdullah Al Araimi is deputy chairman of Al Raid Group and the leading force behind Al Araimi Boulevard. He first joined the group in the early 2000s after completing his master’s degree in finance from University of Westminster in London. He has played a key role in all major ventures that the group has undertaken since his joining. These ventures vary through a wide spectrum of activities and sectors with a main emphasis on real estate development both domestic and foreign.

What is Al Raid Group doing to diversify Oman's retail options?

Our group was built on a vision to create a better future for Omanis. The decision to construct Al Araimi Boulevard was mainly due to the fact that no similar mall existed. The retail options available and the design of the mall are unique. Not only is the mall revolutionizing the existing market, it has also set a new benchmark for all future Omani projects.

How was Al Araimi Boulevard designed to match changing retail consumer preferences?

The retail industry has changed over the past few years. Most consumers today would prefer to spend on the entertainment or F&B segments. Different and new forms of entertainment, such as virtual reality and gaming, are emerging. Therefore, we built a virtual reality theme park with an iCOMBAT gaming center. We want to encourage consumers to spend as much time in the mall as possible, so these public spaces also have to be designed in a certain way.

What specific segments of the market do you target with Al Araimi Boulevard?

Al Araimi Boulevard is open to all. When we first thought of developing Al Araimi Boulevard, we decided to put all biases aside and create a brighter future for the retail sector in Oman. Al Araimi Boulevard is more than a mall; it is a haven, far from the troubles of life where people can relax.

How did Al Raid Group choose the location of Al Araimi Boulevard in Seeb?

We chose the location due to its expected future potential. Our strategic vision is to cater to all and creating a mall in a densely populated area provided the greatest impact. Equally important, the location is close to a highway and an important intersection that connects two major areas.