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Oman’s Madinat Al Irfan inks MoU to boost cycling in 5km2 project

Oman’s Madinat Al Irfan Development Company SAOC, which is a partnership between the sultanate-owned OMRAN and UAE-based property developer Majid Al Futtaim Properties, has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Oman Cycling Association (OCA) to explore the integration of cycling activities into its 5km2 project.

Madinat Al-Irfan is the sultanate’s largest urban development project, which aims to create a downtown area in the capital district of Muscat.

Enabling earthworks for the construction of Madinat Al Irfan Experience Centre commenced in end-2019, with the opening date of the first building scheduled for end-2020.

Commenting on the milestone, the executive manager of the Madinat Al Irfan Development Company SAOC, Talib Omar Al Bulooshi, said: “The collaboration with the Oman Cycling Association will enable us to benefit from their experience to improve on the planned urban bikeways for daily transport and the more challenging off-road cycling trails that are already integrated into our Phase 1 master plan.”

Al Bulooshi added: “The cyclo-city initiative with Oman Cycling Association is a first of its kind collaboration with a master developer in Oman and will hopefully become an example for other developers to adopt in the Sultanate.

“Madinat Al Irfan cycling trails will become a reality by 2021, as the infrastructures of its first phase will become visible. This strategic partnership is in line with the government’s mandate of sustainability and strongly supports the health and wellbeing of Oman’s people.”

The agreement was inked following the official visit of the president of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), David Lappartient, who was briefed by Madinat Al Irfan executives on plans to integrate comprehensive cycling infrastructure into the early stages of development.

The chairman of the Oman Cycling Association, Saif Al-Rashdi, said: “It’s an incredible milestone to see cycling being integrated within one of Oman’s flagship destinations. This initiative directly aligns with the government’s vision for sustainable developments, while promoting the healthier lifestyle that is at the core of our mission.

Al-Rashdi added: “Madinat Al Irfan’s geographical size and hilly terrain is a cyclist’s dream for a cyclo-city, which is integrated and safe to cycle through and full of challenges as well. We are so optimistic that with the success of this initiative, cycling will become more accepted as a mode of transport and will foster its development nationally.”

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