Calling all adventure seekers. AEG Ogden is looking to fill the GM role at one of its most unique global outposts — Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre — which opens in 2016.
Known as the Jewel of Arabia, the small kingdom bordering Saudi Arabi, the UAE and Yemen didn't officially open its borders to tourists until the 1990s. With its beautiful 1,200 miles of coastline, golden minaret lined capital, Muscat, and population of nomadic Bedoiun tribes, Oman has become a tourism and event mecca in the Middle East.
It's also an absolute monarchy and Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said has total control over what many area experts describe as a peaceful and polite nation of 3.8 million. Government-run firm Omran is the developer of Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre, one of the first venues in the region to be LEED Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The convention center will include a two-tiered auditorium to seat 3,200 and 450. The 236,000-square-foot, column-free exhibition space will be divisible into five separate halls.
This is a unique opportunity to oversee a preopening team in a ‘greenfield’ destination,” said Geoff Donaghy, AEG Ogden group director, convention centers.“The Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre offers both a rewarding and challenging experience and the opportunity to work with a number of internationally-credentialed professionals.”
AEG Ogden is seeking candidates with previous experience in a senior role within the Arabian Gulf region who could take up the position within the coming months.
This will be the seventh venue of its kind that AEG Ogden will oversee in the Middle East and Asia Pacific region. AEG Ogden also operates the Qatar National Convention Centre and is engaged on a consultancy basis for the redevelopment of the Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi.
Carillion Alawi has been appointed as contractor for Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre, which includes a three-story parking garage and Energy Centre. The convention center is being built in two phases, with the exhibition halls completed in 2015, and auditorium, banquet halls and meeting rooms scheduled for completion in late 2016.
Two halls will have customized acoustics plus advanced lighting and rigging to serve as a multipurpose space for plenary sessions, concerts, performances and gala events for up to 10,000 people.
The venue will also include 14 meeting rooms that accommodate between 70 and 360 delegates, two ballrooms that seat up to 2,360, a VIP Pavilion, a food court and a multistoried parking garage that holds 4,000 vehicles.
The design includes concourse areas to facilitate the flow of large delegations, plus floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook landscaped gardens and an outdoor exhibition area.Three hotels, with a combined total of 1,000 rooms, in addition to a business park and retail shopping mall, will be linked to the convention center.
“Omran sought to achieve the Sultanate’s economic diversification vision, which is to protect the environment and deliver long-term benefits to local communities and the national economy,” said Wael Al Lawati, CEO of Omran.
The project in its construction phase will create approximately 6,000 jobs in the region. More than 50 percent of construction expenditure will be spent within the Sultanate to create businesses and jobs in Oman.
“Oman has a solid foundation of active Omani associations and societies that are crucial to the support, with bidding for international conventions,” said Rochelle Uechtritz, AEG Ogden group manager, convention sales development. “Submissions are currently being lodged to host medical and scientific congresses in 2017, 2018 and 2019 that will attract thousands of specialists to the capital city of Muscat.”
The city of Muscat, which combines ancient and modern architecture, is known as one of the cleanest Arab capitals.
AEG Ogden has been working in partnership with the Ministry of Tourism and Oman’s key stakeholders in promoting the region for international conventions, meetings and business events.
Interviewed for this article: Geoff Donaghy, +61 7 3363 3666; Wael Al Lawati, +968 24 391111; Rochelle Uechtritz, +61 7 3363 3666