Alizz Islamic Bank on Tuesday signed an agreement to finance the development of Oman’s first purpose-built student and trainee residential complex with a capacity to accommodate around 2,600 students.
The complex will be built and operated by The Myriad. The Myriad is the Middle East, Asia and Africa partner of Asset Campus International.
The proposed complex will only accommodate male students, and will also have two floors of retail space. Total investment in the project would be around RO40mn.
The agreement was signed by Salaam bin Said al Shaksy, CEO of Alizz Islamic Bank and Vikram Rao, CEO of Strategic Housing Group, the parent company of The Myriad.
The signing ceremony was attended by a number of officials from the two organisations.
“We are happy to be part of this initiative. Alizz Islamic Bank is a strong example of how Islamic financial institutions can support the growth of the education sector which is crucial for the economy,” Shaksy said while speaking at the event.
Speaking about the facilities in the proposed complex, Rao said, “The facility will be built in Al Khoud, near Sultan Qaboos
University. In addition to the student rooms, the complex will offer two floors of retail space and recreational facilities; this includes a mix of restaurants, cafés, shopping stores, theatre, health club, gaming, supermarket, personal services and a lounge area with communal kitchens on every floor.”
Rao said that total cost of the project would be around RO40mn, which would be financed through a mix of debt and equity. While majority of the debt would be provided by Alizz Islamic Bank, they might rope in some local and foreign investors as partners.
On timeline of the project, he said that the project should be ready in next 20 months, and currently they are in the tendering process and soon the groundbreaking would take place.
“We have been working on this project for over last two years. It took a while in getting all the necessary approvals and permission,” Rao added.
On future prospects for the project, Rao said that many higher education and training institutions have been set up in Muscat but none have residential facilities for students. According to him around 70,000 students from other parts of the country are currently studying in various institutions in Muscat and there is an urgent need to provide residential facilities to them.