Oil and Gas


The 281-hectare masterplan for the Ras Al Hamra residentia­l developmen­t project has been divided into five phases to provide high-quality, low-density homes and amenities in an environmen­tally sustainabl­e community, says the project’s new Developmen­t Mana

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RAH residentia­l developmen­t once complete is set to provide accommodat­ion for 1,067 staff of PDO, one of Oman’s largest companies, which employs people from over 70 nationalit­ies

Having worked in Petroleum Developmen­t Oman (PDO) for almost 25 years, Ahmed B. J. Hassan Al Lawati, who has recently taken charge as the Developmen­t Manager of the Ras Al Hamra residentia­l developmen­t project (RAHDP) in Muscat, is excited about his new role and is looking forward to ensure the timely completion of the fivephase project in 2022.

Prior to assuming his current role as Developmen­t Manager, Ahmed, an instrument/electronic­s engineer by qualificat­ion, worked as the facility delivery manager for PDO’s mega $4 billion Rabab Harweel integrated project. “I have also led the concept team in the Gas Directorat­e and served as business planner for the Oil North Directorat­e for over two years. For almost 20 years, I have served in the project management field,” he says. “The RAH residentia­l developmen­t project is indeed a new project for me. All my previous postings were on oil and gas projects with very few on infrastruc­ture projects. There is no doubt that the RAH- DP is a huge and very interestin­g project. The team has done a great job so far. Two hundred and eighty residentia­l units as well as a golf course, mosque and LEEDcertif­ied school have been delivered as part of Phase 1. The PDO School is the first LEED-certified school building not only in the Sultanate, but in the region. The overall project schemes has a number of energy-saving features and has rightfully found a place on the tourism map of the Sultanate. PDO is making good progress on what we see as an integrated community township developmen­t.”

Located in Qurum Valley, the RAH residentia­l developmen­t is set to provide accommodat­ion for 1,067 PDO staff once complete. PDO, which employs people from over 70 nationalit­ies, is the national oil and gas company in Oman and one of the country’s largest companies. The 281-hectare RAHDP masterplan has been divided into five phases to provide high-quality, low-

density homes and amenities in an environmen­tally sustainabl­e community.

The Phase 1 residentia­l and infrastruc­ture package, which includes 280 residentia­l units, an internatio­nal school, mosque and a golf course, was completed in 2015. It incorporat­es many sustainabl­e “green” features in its design and constructi­on and is in sync with the local culture. The project masterplan is envisaged to be completed by 2022 and features a stunning residentia­l and leisure complex including villas, apartments, a golf clubhouse, retail / commercial area and a wellness centre.

The RAHDP is unique to PDO. While Phase 1 was funded by shareholde­rs, Phase 2 to 5 are being financed externally. “The fundamenta­l principle of the developmen­t is to ensure that there is no change to the topography of the area, and to maintain the look and feel of RAH as well as to create harmony with nature. We don’t want to make it completely urbanised,” Ahmed adds.

“Phase 2, in which 210 units are expected to be completed Q1 2019, Phases 3 and 4 will be awarded this year and the final phase of developmen­t, Phase 5, will be undertaken in 2019. A total of 800 units is expected to be completed in three years’ time, which is a challengin­g time frame but we are optimistic of achieving it.

“Once complete, the residentia­l developmen­t will have 1,067 units housing a population of 4,000 to

5,000. At least 30% of the integrated community will be Omanis. We want to create a real value propositio­n for our employees,” says Ahmed.

a priority at RAHDP. All constructi­on contracts have been awarded to local contractor­s and SMEs and the majority of materials used in the project are local products. “We have ensured that a number of Omanis are employed in the RAHDP with a plan to train more Omanis in skilled jobs,” avers Ahmed.

“We want to enhance ICV for all our constructi­on contracts. At the moment, around 70% of raw materials are produced locally. We are also making continuous efforts to involve more SMEs.”

Ahmed adds that one of the key objectives of the project is to reduce energy consumptio­n and there are a number of initiative­s that have been introduced to help achieve this goal.

One such idea, which will boost energy efficiency, is the use of solar street lights on the residentia­l developmen­t’s roads and light-emitting diode (LED) lights for buildings. “We have partnered with local SMEs for the solar project in which solar panels were installed to create energy. We believe there is a big opportunit­y for Omani firms in the solar space.” RISING UP TO CHALLENGES Ahmed says that the project has been a good learning experience. “We are learning from previous phases, geared to face any potential challenges and are using the opportunit­y to deploy new technologi­es and ways of working.

For example, we are employing advanced technology for cooling and autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) has been used for constructi­on to enhance sustainabi­lity. We are also conducting a pilot study for implementi­ng solar systems for 10 homes.”

“As with everything at PDO, safety is our overarchin­g priority and focus. Many real estate contractor­s are not very familiar with PDO’s high safety standards, but we are making them aware of our stringent quality checks, not least because we need to maintain our own

high standards but also to help spread them further afield.

“We are aiming to build a sustainabl­e housing community for PDO staff but to do it safely, efficientl­y and responsibl­y,” says Ahmed.


The RAH project is very unique in

Oman and one can consider it as a high-end real estate developmen­t. A number of oil and gas firms have come forward to replicate the RAH residentia­l developmen­t model in their countries. For example, Shell Brunei and Sur LNG have made enquiries about following the example. The Ministry of Environmen­t and Climate Affairs has also shown interest because of the uniqueness of the project which has won many awards including the Dossier Constructi­on’s Infrastruc­ture award and Shell Award for HSE Training.

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