Oman has a long history of hosting expats with open arms and a relatively liberal reign. Considered one of the friendliest Middle Eastern countries, Oman has an amicable relationship with all of its neighbouring countries. This is perhaps the major factor in why Oman is a haven for those looking to work or even settle in the Middle East. Owing to this fact, prominent businessman Mr. Pradeepkumar Nair has founded the much-anticipated Little India project. Speaking about why he chose to take on this task, Mr. Nair said, “This project will show the ethnic beauty of India, which also correlates with the ethnicity of Oman”. The statement reflects how deeply integrated the two cultures truly are.
What is “Little India”?
Little India is an upcoming consolidated tourism project located in Oman’s Duqm special economic zone. Spanning 60,000 sq. meters, this beachfront property will include a variety of residential and commercial spaces ranging from villas, apartment units, a five-star hotel, restaurants, a theatre, to a marina. The project’s lead designer is Mr. Sanjay Puri, a world-renowned architect.
When will the project be completed?
The Little India project was announced in December of 2017. Work on the first phase of the project – the village resort, 25 beachfront villas, and an apartment complex housing 96 units, commenced on January 2018. The Project’s essential elements are set to be completed by 2020. Whereas the entirety of Little India will take approximately 15 years to complete, showing just how expansive the project’s vision is.
What does this mean for expats?
Individuals who purchase a property in this much-awaited complex will receive Omani residence visas. In addition to that, Indian expats who currently work in Oman, and choose to retire here, will also receive a residency and continue to enjoy, perhaps more idyllically, all that Oman has to offer.
Expats have long been able to enjoy ownership of properties in certain designated areas across the Sultanate, and with the Government liberalizing their ownership policies, Little India seems to have hit the perfect time mark.
Does this affect Oman’s economy?
Given the sheer scale and scope of the project, it is sure to draw in a massive number of tourists, which in turn will help the tourism and various other sectors. The Government of Oman has supported the project with full gusto, and big corporations have also stepped in to see the project come to fruition. For instance, Meethaq, the Islamic banking window of Bank Muscat, has signed an agreement as the financial advisor of “Little India”.
The Little India project caters to Oman’s need for economic diversification and is the prime example of it. Appeasing to all expats, the Little India project may be a tourist destination for some, and a home away from home for many others.
Mr. Pradeep Kumar Nair, Managing Director of ‘Little India’, talks about the first Integrated Tourism Complex coming up in Duqm: