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Al-Irfan Muscat RIBA Competition


Allies and Morrison
Competition | Past

​Al-Irfan, Muscat

To create a masterplan for a new city, Madinat Al Irfan, outside the Sultanate’s capital, Muscat. This exemplar urban project, acting as a model for future sustainable development for growing cities, will create a new capital district for the Muscat region, embracing Omani culture and heritage by learning from the past to inform a future built environment.

Invited International

Allies and Morrison won the competition to select a masterplanning consultant for Al-Irfan urban development project in Oman, which will create a new downtown area for the Muscat capital district.

The new city will be located on a site extending to over 7.4 million square metres, with strategic links to the nearby Muscat International Airport and the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC).

The selection process followed the format of a private invitation competition, with five participating teams including Allies and Morrison, Broadway Malyan, HOK, Nikken Sekkei Ltd. and Skidmore Owings & Merrill Inc. Each of the competitors was tasked with developing concept masterplan proposals embracing sustainable design principles which would reflect Oman’s distinctive identity.

While the Judging Panel considered that all the participating teams had submitted compelling design concepts they found that the concept developed by Allies and Morrison provided a rich narrative together with a contextual, landscape driven response to the Brief which had been designed to work with the topography while enhancing the site’s unique natural setting. The Panel considered the proposals had the potential to create a thoroughly modern yet authentic and characterful scheme, that would be recognisably Omani and distinct from other destinations in the wider Gulf region.

“Al-Irfan is the Sultanate’s largest mixed-use urban development project, and we wanted to ensure it is designed in a sustainable manner while reflecting the uniqueness of Omani culture and aligns with the Sultanate’s long-term developmental strategy. We are delighted that the RIBA Competitions process enabled us to achieve such a successful result, which has led to the appointment of Allies and Morrison, a world-class firm in architecture and urban design.”

Eng. Wael Al Lawati, Omran’s Chief Executive Officer


  • MIPIM Architectural Review 2017 - Future Project Award - Big Urban Major Projects Award
  • RTPI Award for Planning Excellence 2017 - One of Top Five Projects in the World
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