Plans unveiled for 2,500 homes spread across mountain ridge

AtkinsRealis is masterplanning a USD $2.4bn mountaintop tourist resort in Oman which is set to include more than 2,500 homes.

The Omani Mountain Destination (OMD) is being designed by the firm and the country’s ministry of housing and urban planning.

The scheme will be built across a mountain ridge at an altitude of 2,400m, the highest development in Oman, meaning it will have a mild average temperature of 22 degrees.

It will include hotels, a purpose-built health and wellness village, The Vessel, a high-altitude sports training centre, amphitheatres and a museum.

An escarpment walk in a remote wilderness area that has been legally protected as a National Scenic Reserve will also be included under the plans, along with a new park with a bridge, farming and agrotourism, family recreation activites mountain biking and extreme sports facilities, including bungee jumping and rock climbing. 

The destination is expected to attract a residential population of more than 8,000 and an average of 2,350 overnight visitors and 2,000 daily visitors.

AtkinsRealis associate director of masterplanning and urban design Davide Minniti said the resort will be a place of “play, adventure and discovery”. 

“The masterplan recognises nature’s intrinsic value in everybody’s quality of life and well-being by blending its rugged landscape into each aspect of the project. Culture makes the OMD unique; the masterplan invites the global community to enjoy Oman’s calm way of life on the Jabal, its communities and the awe-inspiring landscapes. 

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“The OMD is a beacon of innovation - it looks to the future through smart solutions, an urban lifestyle centred around people, walkability and community spaces, and through the understated elegance of subtle design solutions along the wadis and escarpment. This project is the result of a collective effort across the visionary MoHUP, our design teams and the Jabal Al Akdhar communities.”

The project is a key part of Oman’s Vision 2040 to achieve a developed, diversified, and sustainable national economy, with fair distribution of development gains and protection of natural resources. 

The nation wants to increase the share the tourism contributes to the economy to 5% by 2030 and again to 10% by 2040. It is also targeting USD $51bn in tourism investment by 2040, following investment of $7.8bn between 2021-23.

The country is planning a “cluster” approach to tourism, providing a range of unique experiences with easy reach to enrich the diversity and quality of its tourism offerings.