Thymio Papayannis and Associates Inc. (TPA) has been awarded the role of the lead architect in this premiere upmarket eco-oriented tourism destination in the Middle East after winning an international competition for the concept Master Plan and concept design approach.
The uniqueness of the space, the climate and the culture have inspired the concept Master Plan, which reflects the intention to create a real place rather than an artificial one with a balance between natural and built environment and offering uniqueness of experience.
The proposed development of approximately 260.000 sqm is a low density mixed use tourism oriented development, comprising of two hotels (5 star and 5 star plus), each with a different and unique character associated with its location, a destination spa-hotel located between the ocean and the oasis, several housing complexes carefully integrated on the hills and a number of common facilities, such as an 18 hole golf course, a MICE centre, commercial and leisure facilities, and other outdoor sports activities organized along selected promenades.
Due to its remote location, the site has large needs of infrastructure provision, while its sensitive environment could easily be degraded. TPA has been selected both for its design ideas but also for its integrated planning approach taking into account all aspects of sustainable development, namely: maintaining the visual quality of the site by placing the programmatic components in the perimeter, leaving the beachfront and the edge intact with only mild interventions, treating the landscape as an integral element of design with a functional and aesthetic role and organizing access and circulation so as to eliminate conventional car traffic from the interior of the site.
The vision of the project has the potential to constitute a model of tourism development in the region, aiming on the one hand to safeguard – in a vibrant and sustainable manner – some of the most precious resources of Oman, its nature, its culture, its customs and traditions, and on the other hand to open the country to the society of civilizations that participate in global developments.