Total investments in Madayn’s various industrial cities increased by 3.63% in 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, while the cumulative value of investments touched around RO6.57 billion by the end of 2018, an increase of RO230 million compared to 2017, Hilal bin Hamad Al Hasani, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates – Madayn said.
The Sultanate’s Blessed Renaissance Day this year coincides with the recent issuance of Royal Decrees promulgating laws of Foreign Capital Investment, Privatisation, Public-Private Partnership, and Bankruptcy, which shall contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of the investment environment and encouraging investors and business owners from the Sultanate and abroad to localise their projects and subsequently support the national economy, Hilal said.
For the tenth year in a row and despite the economic status and variables at local, regional and global levels, Madayn has witnessed rapid growth. Al Hasani informed that the growth rate that was seen in the total investments in Madayn’s various industrial cities increased significantly compared to the same period in 2017.
During the same period, the number of workforce rose to 60,070 with an Omanisation rate touching 35%. The number of investing projects in their various construction phases in 2018 has reached 2,211, of which 1519 are operating, 291 are under construction, and 401 projects have been allotted with space. The utilisation rate of the total space of the industrial cities has touched 53%.
Al Hasani informed that a total of 256 projects in their various phases have been localised in 2018, and around 509,000 sqm of Madayn lands have been leased to the investors. In addition, 5264 job opportunities were provided in Madayn’s different industrial cities with growth rate touching 10%.
The CEO of Madayn pointed out that Oman Investment and Development Holding Company (Mubadrah) has established Al Rusayl Industrial City Company and has commenced its operations as of January 1st, 2019. Mubadrah has also established companies specialised in asset management and integrated services during the same period. Work is also underway to establish a marketing company.
Additionally, the properties of Shumookh Investment and Services, Shumookh Plastic Products and Industrial Innovation Centre, and the shares of Infoline Company, Majis Industrial Services, and Port of Salalah Development Company have been transferred from Madayn to Mubadrah.
Al Hasani emphasised that all that has been achieved so far represents the beginning of the role that will be played by Mubadrah as a major developer of Madayn. “Mubadrah is undertaking efforts to attract international developers and operators in accordance with best practices for the development of industrial cities. What’s more, the role of Madayn will be linked to regulation and monitoring aspects,” Al Hasani said.
He elaborated that Mubadrah represents the main pillar of Madayn’s approach to strengthen Public-Private Partnership (PPP) but is not the only one. “The approach aims at attracting international developers to the new industrial cities across the various Sultanate’s governorates, in addition to granting development licenses to the Omani private sector for establishing its economic areas under Madayn. The approach also incorporates the launch of a project that aims at providing all government services to the developers and investors. It is worth mentioning that work is advanced at all levels of this approach,” Al Hasani commented.
Madayn is also working to launch Masar Investment Window in all of its industrial cities in 2019. “Masar will represent a platform for all the services required by the investors. Work is already advanced in this initiative and a tender was floated for the engineering works to implement Masar offices,” he added. The one-stop-station at Al Mazunah Free Zone has officially commenced its operations recently. Business owners and investors can now have access to a set of services related to investment activities which shall be completed within a period of not more than three hours.
Commenting on the major projects of Madayn’s investment arm Shumookh Investment and Services, Al Hasani stated that the company has expanded significantly in recent years and has started to invest in various sectors.
Shumookh has established a company specialised in heritage and tourism in cooperation with a group of international partners specialised in the development, maintenance and operation of various world heritage sites and recognised assets in UNESCO. The company is currently putting its final touches on several projects to develop a number of archaeological sites in the Sultanate and Zanzibar through PPP approach.
The CEO of Madayn also pointed out that Shumookh in cooperation with Nafith Logistics Services will develop and operate the access management system to the industrial cities pertaining to Madayn. This shall organise, manage and monitor cargo vehicles as well as passenger vehicles coming to the industrial cities through the use of smart gates and trucks, which will consequently save time, speed up the process and enhance security in these cities.
Shumookh has also established a company to manage investment funds in cooperation with major investing companies in the industrial cities and their associated companies. This company aims mainly at investing in SMEs after conducting feasibility studies to determine the current and future directions of these enterprises. This shall allow these SMEs to grow and achieve profits during an investment period ranging from 4-6 years.
Madayn recently established Madayn Industrial Academy in cooperation with a number of partners with the objective of training and developing the competencies of the nationals. The academy will provide vocational and technical training programmes to train and qualify the Omani cadres and accordingly raise their productivity and readiness for the market as per the requirements of the factories and companies. This comes in continuity of Madayn’s efforts to train the national cadres since 2011.
Madayn has signed an agreement with Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) to provide employment opportunities through training for employment, direct hire, redeployment and on-job training. Besides, Madayn has partnered with Nettur Technical Training Foundation in India to train the local faculties in Oman, identify the required relevant courses and equipment, develop vocational and technical training programmes to be run by the academy, set the curriculum and the content for conducting the training programmes and various certificate programmes, and evaluate the performance of the trainees through appropriate means.
Madayn is set to sign a number of agreements in the coming period with partners with successful experiences from inside and outside the Sultanate to ensure the best results, and highest proficiency and efficiency levels of the national cadres in the industrial sector.
Al Hasani stressed the significance of the efforts undertaken by Madayn to support social responsibility initiatives. He informed that Madayn has recently completed the project of developing Madayn’s social responsibility policy and strategy, which aims at organising all of Madayn’s social practices within a specialised and unified pattern. Madayn has signed an agreement with a local consultancy firm specialised in preparing a study on social responsibility in order to develop a clear policy of CSR for all the companies and factories based in Madayn’s industrial cities. The strategy will be announced in its final form during the coming period of 2019.
Madayn Supplier Certification System
Madayn has launched the Madayn Supplier Certification System on the Joint Supplier Registration System (JSRS), the Sultanate’s industry-wide online supplier validation and certification platform. This comes within the efforts of Madayn to form an integrated system of electronic services that adds value to the investment environment, Al Hasani noted. In this regard, Madayn signed a MoU with Business Gateways International (businessgateways), which operates the JSRS platform, to develop and manage Madayn’s Supplier Certification System.
Hilal Al Hasani said that Madayn’s industrial cities are currently witnessing major projects with economic and social results in various governorates of the Sultanate. These industrial cities are recording growing indicators regarding the volume of investments, number of projects and workforce, and expansion of areas.
“Oman Investment and Development Holding Company (Mubadrah) is currently working on a number of value-adding projects to Al Rusayl Industrial City,” Al Hasani said, adding: “These projects include the logistics project valued at around RO 1,600,000; new gates and entrances project with a value of RO 2,500,000; and the project of developing and incorporating services to expand the industrial city with a total value reaching RO 34,000,000. Furthermore, Mubadrah is also preparing to float a tender of B2 Phase to expand Al Rusayl Industrial City. The value of this tender is expected to touch RO 15,000,000.”
Al Hasani informed that the total area of Al Rusayl Industrial City has come close to 11 million sqm by the end of 2018 and is home to 309 projects. The total volume of investments in this industrial city has touched approximately RO 372,554,229 and the number of national and foreign workforce has reached 21,881 during the same period.
The infrastructure project of Samail Industrial City, which is valued at RO 40 million, has been completed, Al Hasani noted. The road works have been implemented on a length of 46.290 km in two phases. The implemented infrastructure services include those related to rainwater, drainage, water, electricity, and telephone networks, a sewage plant with a capacity of 3600 m3 for phase one, and two water tanks each with a capacity of 2500 m3. The foundation stone for the administration and facility building in Samail Industrial City was laid recently. The cost of developing this project is estimated at around RO 4.5 million on a total building area of 16,000 sqm. The project will consist of 8 floors (ground + 7 floors) with a rental area touching 12,280 sqm, which will offer various services for the workforce in Samail Industrial City and neighbouring areas. It should be noted that the official inauguration of Samail Industrial City will take place in the coming period of 2019. Furthermore, the volume of investments in Samail Industrial City has touched RO 155,646,735 and the localised projects has reached 166 (existing, under construction, and those allotted with space) by the end of 2018. Moreover, the number of workforce in the industrial city has rose to 1327. The total area of the industrial city has reached 7,674,457 sqm.
As for Raysut Industrial City, Al Hasani commented that the expansion project (Raysut 2) has officially began. This project includes construction of roads, sidewalks, pedestrian paths, water networks, sewage networks and station in addition to fire extinguishing systems, street lighting, irrigation and landscaping works. By the end of 2018, the total volume of investments in Raysut has touched RO 422,368,159, and the number of projects has amounted to 202 projects (existing, under construction, and those allotted with space). The number of workforce has reached around 3358, and the total area has touched 3,810,479 sqm.
Al Hasani stated that the total cost of infrastructure development project in Sur Industrial City is RO 10 million. The project, which covers 2.4 million sqm, comprises design and construction of industrial, commercial, residential and educational infrastructure facilities, in addition to executing studies on environmental impacts and security requirements of the industrial city. “We are receiving many requests from investors and business owners who are willing to localise their projects to find a commercial port that meets their needs, especially that Sur Industrial City is strategically located on the Indian Ocean, and the nearest port to this city is Sohar Port which is more than 450 km away,” he said. By the end of 2018, the total volume of investments in Sur Industrial City has touched RO 2,031,805,543. The number of projects has amounted to 134 projects (existing, under construction, and those allotted with space). Besides, the number of workforce has reached around 4074, and the total area has touched 36,100,000 sqm.
The Facility Building in Suhar Industrial City has been completed. Designed in a modern style, the building consists of 2321 sqm of space dedicated to restaurants and shopping points, and 5,900 sqm of office leasable space. The building will be officially inaugurated in the coming months of this year. By the end of 2018, the investments in Suhar Industrial City were valued at RO 2,140,716,569. The number of projects has amounted to 354 projects (existing, under construction, and those allotted with space), and the number of workforce has reached 17,860. It should be noted that the total area of Suhar Industrial City has touched 21,237,225 sqm and it has recently received an additional expansion of 8 million sqm.
The CEO of Madayn explained that there are currently several projects carried out by Madayn in Nizwa Industrial City. These include the supplementary works for phases 2 and 3, sewage plant, and consulting services for assessment and maintenance of the gas network. By the end of 2018, the volume of investments in Nizwa Industrial City has rose to RO 479,945,066, and the total area has touched 3,111,295 sqm. The number of projects has amounted to 141 projects (existing, under construction, and those allotted with space), and the number of workforce has reached 5450.
As for Al Buraimi Industrial City, the Board of Directors of Madayn has agreed to grant this industrial city additional investment incentives and advantages in order to encourage investors and business owners to develop their projects and benefit from the industrial city’s features such as its strategic location close to several airports and international ports inside and outside the Sultanate. Al Hasani pointed out that the volume of investments in Al Buraimi Industrial City has touched RO 219,614,674 and the total area has reached 5,561,156 sqm by the end of 2018. The number of projects has amounted to 461 projects (existing, under construction, and those allotted with space), and the number of workforce has reached 1860.
The tenders of buildings 6 and 7 in the Knowledge Oasis Muscat have been floated as a prelude to the commencement of the construction process, Al Hasani commented. In addition, an area has been allotted in KOM for the multi-level parking project. The land’s coordinates are being determined in coordination with the investor. It is worth mentioning that by the end of 2018, the total volume of investments in KOM has touched RO 276,501,165, and the total area of KOM has reached 778,602 sqm. The number of projects has amounted to 208 projects (existing, under construction, and those allotted with space), and the number of workforce has reached 5070.
Oommen John P is the Deputy Editor for OGR & Dossier and Associate Editor for OER. A journalist since 1994, John has worked for newspapers and business magazines in India and Oman. He joined UMS in January 2014, where his work profile includes writing about the economy and banking, oil and gas sector, auto reviews on prominent brands besides features and articles on travel.