Sultan Haitham City

  • Client Oman Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MoHUP)
  • Expertise Urban Design + Planning
  • Location Seeb, Muscat, Oman

Designed to foster an inclusive future for Oman’s growing population, the city introduces a new model for sustainable development. It provides a mix of housing types within walking distance to new public amenities, parks, and vibrant open spaces.

Project Facts
  • Size Site Area: 1,500 hectares
Project Facts
  • Size Site Area: 1,500 hectares

An ambitious design for Oman’s future

Sultan Haitham City is the first project within a larger program that Oman’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning is undertaking to implement a paradigm shift in the country’s urban development. As part of Oman Vision 2040, the country’s strategic long-term vision, the project is designed to accommodate 100,000 residents of Muscat’s growing population made up of locals, expatriates, and visitors.


For SOM, the opportunity to work across different disciplines and scales to realize an entirely new city chimed naturally with our interdisciplinary approach. Interpreting the Ministry’s twelve core attributes for the new city—inclusive, affordable, safe, compact, accessible, comfortable, robust, efficient, circular, healthy, smart, and lovable—SOM’s vision for Sultan Haitham City comprises over 2.9 million square meters of vibrant public space, 20,000 new homes of different scales and types, and smart urban mobility across a total 14.8 million square meters.

Promoting ecological resilience

In response to the country’s climatic realities, including soaring temperatures, humidity, and vulnerability to flooding in the summer, the urban design taps the potential of an existing 7.5-kilometer-long dry river—a wadi—that runs through the site. Harnessing natural water from flooding, the wadi is reinvented as a vibrant public green park that includes an interconnected network of open spaces and shaded plazas to encourage outdoor activity and social exchange.


As the heart of the new city, the park also acts as an organizing mechanism. It links to four green pedestrian spines that catalyze the city’s nineteen neighborhoods and provides access for residents to parks, open spaces, and amenities all within walking distance of their homes.

The architecture of the city consists of culturally sensitive and energy-efficient buildings of mixed densities and typologies. Every home is located near routes designed to accommodate public transportation, smart forms of mobility, as well as walking and cycling along shaded paths.

By providing access to a variety of public amenities and inclusive spaces all within walking distance, Sultan Haitham City secures an ambitious and inclusive future for Oman. The project also contributes to SOM’s growing body of work in the Middle East, an exciting part of the world which allows us to explore innovative ideas about the future of cities.

Technological solutions for a better quality of life

Working towards Oman’s 2050 goal to reach net zero carbon emissions, the new city is designed to minimize its ecological footprint while enhancing quality of life for its residents. This is achieved through several strategies including harnessing solar energy as a renewable power source, implementing waste-to-energy systems, treating wastewater for reuse, and implementing a comprehensive sustainability strategy that promotes material reuse and recycling.


Air quality monitors and smart public lighting are integrated with smart mobility features including advanced traffic management and micro-mobility stations to altogether enable better management of resources and reduce waste and inefficiencies in the long term.

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