In August last year I blogged about a project called Journey of Light which is supposed to come up in Seeb just down the beach from The Wave. The project has never been in the news here in Oman and though it's been close 10 months I haven't heard anything about it locally. I decided to look it up online and once again it turned out that there's lots of news about it.
To begin with the project has a website: Journeyoflight.com even though the project's name has apparently been changed to Omagine. According to a press release by Alfa International Holdings which owns Journey of Light, Inc:
JOL is continuing to move ahead with its plans for the U.S. 1.2 billion dollar OMAGINE real-estate development project in the Sultanate of Oman (``Oman''). On August 1, 2005, the Ministry of Tourism (``MOT'') of the government of Oman (the ``Government'') and JOL signed a memorandum of understanding (``MOU'') memorializing key legal and commercial aspects for the development of a tourism related project (the ``OMAGINE'' project). On March 1, 2006, JOL made a formal presentation of its plan for the OMAGINE project to a committee of several ministers of the Omani Government. The presentation was favorably received by the committee and JOL management promptly thereafter began discussions with Government officials, the objective of which is to arrive at the terms and conditions of a Development Agreement between the Government and an Omani based Project Company to be formed, of which JOL will be the majority shareholder. JOL management is presently back in Oman continuing such negotiations.OMAGINE is proposed to be developed on 1 million square meters (equal to approximately 245 acres) of beachfront land facing the Gulf of Oman (the ``OMAGINE Site'') just west of the capital city of Muscat and nearby the Seeb International Airport. OMAGINE is planned to be an integration of cultural, heritage, educational, entertainment and residential components, including: a ``high culture'' theme park containing seven pearl-shaped buildings, each approximately 60 feet in diameter (the ``Pearls'') and associated exhibition buildings (collectively, the ``Landmark''), a five star resort hotel, a four star hotel, a boardwalk, an open air amphitheater and stage, a canal and enclosed harbor area, boat slips, commercial office buildings, shopping and retail establishments, restaurants and open space green areas. All of the foregoing are expected to be owned and/or leased or operated by the Project Company, except that ownership of the Landmark is expected to be transferred to a new company (the ``Landmark Company'') which will be jointly owned by the Government and the Project Company. It is further expected that the Project Company will be hired under a fee based contract by the Landmark Company to operate and manage the Landmark. Additionally, OMAGINE, as presently conceived, includes the construction and sale by the Project Company of approximately 2,000 residences consisting of a combination of villas, town homes and apartments.