Marjan beach, widely known as PDO beach, has been closed to the public “until further notice” due to construction work. The announcement comes as PDO continues with the second phase of the Ras Al Hamra development project that will be home to 1,100 families by 2023. As the popular beach sits close to the construction site, keeping it open during building work would have created a public safety hazard for visitors, according to developers.
“Works on Phase 2B of the Ras Al Hamra development project (RAHDP) will start soon. For public safety, Marjan Beach and the associated parking areas opposite Ras Al Hamra Street will remain closed throughout the construction period until further notice,” Ahmed Al Shaibani, Project manager at Ras Al Hamra Development said. “Public safety signage will be placed at Marjan Beach to communicate the closure. Hoardings and wire fencing will be erected along Ras Al Hamra Street to close both the beach and the parking area opposite. Parking and stopping are not permitted in this area during the closure period.” The beach is a popular hangout spot for families in Muscat during weekends due to its secluded location and stunning views. The beach is also a popular spot for snorkelers.
Phase two will have 195 additional housing units while design and tendering of other residential units will be completed through 2018. “During the construction phase, heavy equipment and truck movement will take place in the area. We kindly request all residents and members of the general public to comply with the safety instructions, to be cautious and courteous and respect the safety of workers and other road users,” Al Shaibani said. “We regret any inconvenience that may be caused and would like to thank residents and the general public for their understanding and co-operation. The RAHDP team strives to ensure the continuous safety of the community and the public to create a peaceful atmosphere, respecting nature and our environment.”
Ras Al Hamra Development project is a 28 hectare sustainable city project that will have 1,067 houses, a mix of apartments, townhouses, terraced houses and villas, in the next five years. Since commencement of construction in 2012, phase one of the project has seen installation of a 33kV substation, expansion of road to dual carriageway, floodlit golf course, medical clinic, mosque, kindergarten and primary school, as well as 272 residential units. The project incorporates solar street lighting and solar rooftop PVs in future phases, according to PDO. The school building has received silver LEED certification and houses systems such as grey water recycling.
Residents are, however, not happy. “After Qantab beach, another beach has been closed,” S Basu, a resident of Ruwi said. Adil, an Egyptian national, said, “My family was extremely fond of this beach as we used to have regular barbecue on the beach,” he said. Several visitors came to take a dip in the sea while others used to come for diving also. Arjun, an Indian expat staying in Qurum, said, “We used to visit the beach every Friday and take a bath in the sea. So it is quite disappointing. Now, I have to go to Qurum beach which is very crowded.” Faisal Khan, an Indian expatriate in Oman said: “It’s sad to hear. It was a great place for barbecue during winters. My family loves that place. We hope it will be opened soon but this winter there is no beach bbq at PDO beach.”
“I saw this some time back when we planned to go to the beach in the evening. It was closed and had no access. I understand there is construction work going on and beach will be opened later but it shouldn’t affect anything else like the beach itself. Looks like, I will have to shift to Qurum beach for outings next time,” Yusuf Al Harthy, a college student said.