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.