Al Mouj Muscat, Oman’s lifestyle and leisure destination, is proving that an environmentally friendly approach, as advocated in the Oman 2040 Vision, can deliver long-term benefits as it increases competitiveness in the market, stimulates innovation and most importantly reduces negative pressure on our environment.
According to Nasser bin Masoud Al Sheibani, CEO of Al Mouj Muscat, the adoption of eco-friendly practices is a key pillar in Al Mouj Muscat’s strategy to build a cost-effective, sustainable community and become a world-class tourist destination.
He explains, “Our considerable efforts to conserve the biodiversity in our residential developments, golf course and marina have helped garner international attention and interest from the tourism sector, and are also in line with Oman’s own sustainability strategic direction. Al Mouj Muscat’s commitment to preserving the environment was recently highlighted in our participation in the G-Cubes global clean-ocean initiative, but has always been clearly evident in our construction practices, constant conservation efforts covering land and sea, and certifications from international environmental bodies.”
The G-Cubes – or Garbage Cubes – initiative is part of a global environmental initiative where ocean waste is compressed into 10cm² cubes, held together with resin. These cubes can be used for artistic and other projects, which are then displayed to raise awareness or sold to raise funds for ecological causes. Al Mouj Muscat got the local community involved by asking residents to collect and document ocean waste, and the compressed blocks were on display at the Marsa Plaza.
The initiative was a natural fit as Al Mouj Marina has long been making a name for itself regionally through its effort to tackle plastic waste in the ocean. It was the first in the region to be awarded the coveted International Clean Marina Accreditation, and it has collaborated on a variety of world-leading research projects such as pioneering work on oyster longlines and biofouling coatings. Al Mouj Marina also leads community environmental initiatives such as reef and beach clean-ups.
Al Mouj Marina was also the region’s first marina to have a Seabin installed to reduce plastic waste. The Seabin is a floating debris-interception device designed to direct rubbish to the surface of the water and into the bin, collecting floating debris like plastic bottles, bags, and micro plastics as small as 2mm.
Al Mouj Golf has also attracted considerable global attention, having been recognised by two major international bodies for its efforts to protect the environment. It was the first golf course in the Middle East to be Audubon certified, and this was followed by certification from the Golf Environmental Organization (GEO). Al Mouj Golf’s GEO certification was awarded in recognition of its high standards across categories such as nature, water, energy, supply chain, pollution control and community, as well as showing commitment to continually improve.
One of Al Mouj Golf’s sustainability practices that GEO highlighted was the significant endeavour to re-naturalise key areas of the golf course and to conserve biodiversity and natural habitats. The initiative is a clear success as the course is now home to more than 170 bird species.
Al Mouj Muscat expects the same level of environmental commitment from its suppliers, contractors and business partners, and encourages all Omani businesses to adopt an ecologically focused approach.
“If we all follow the spirit of guidelines set out in the Vision 2040 for creating a circular, green economy, Oman could become an example for the world,” says Al Sheibani. “It is our collective responsibility to protect the splendour and diversity of Oman’s natural environment and to implement formal, practical measures to ensure this happens.”