Grand plans

What’s missing from this press release, announcing InterContinental Hotels’ investment in Oman’s Al-Madina Az-Zarqa (“Blue City”) development?

Eagle-eyed readers will notice that there are no dates anywhere, other than a reference to Oman’s “Vision 2020” project. From what I understand, Blue City – a Dubai-style megaproject – has been hit unusually hard by the downturn: six months ago it was “junked by Moody’s”, a credit-rating agency, and earlier this year one commentator said, “Even though Blue City is being funded by private financing, one suspects that considerable influence is being wielded to keep the project afloat.”

Does announcing hotel investment, but omitting any timescale, boost confidence? I’m not sure. With the greatest of respect to Oman, I’ll believe Blue City when I see it.

1 Comment

  1. ynotoman

    Mathew, Intercontinental Hotels manage several key properties in Oman which are owned by the Oman Government (Muscat Intercontinental, Al Bustan Palace you may be familiar with) .
    The family who are key players in Blue City also publish two daily newspapers in Oman .
    Blue City itself has been the subject of doubts by a wide range of people who are resident in Oman for many years,
    Moodys downgrade (http://www.arabianbusiness.com/property/article/542038-bolt-from-the-blue ) adds a financial slant,
    legal action by Bovis (http://www.building.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=3142980 ) adds a construction slant,
    law suits from one of the early partners (http://www.tradearabia.com/NEWS/REAL_156039.html bottom of page) adds a human interest slant.

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