LET’S GO TO OMEYA … Namibia’s latest treasure

By By Dorcas Mhungu
October 2010
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TO those that treasure a relaxed and tranquil environment, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, where one can sit back after a hard day’s work and marvel at the beauty of nature, Omeya estate provides the real answer.

The estate, situated 30km south of Windhoek, was created after careful consideration of the various needs of living. It is purely life close to nature.

A first for Namibia, Omeya is geared towards ushering in a new way of living, according to Omeya Director Albe Botha.

Its name is derived from the Oshiwambo word meaning water, without which Omeya would not have come to “life”. Water has in its true sense given life to Omeya Estate.

Omeya is set amongst the Camelthorn trees and rugged hills that frame it like a picture, beauty that makes it a treasure.

“The Camelthorn trees are part of the country’s heritage and our pride at Omeya, they are not being felled and buildings falling in their path are moved but not the trees,” Botha stresses.

The features of the Estate paint a living mental picture of the finished project that no sane investor with the financial muscle to purchase land on this grand project would want to miss.

Omeya, Botha elaborates, is an affordable venture and a couple earning anything from N$300 000 per annum, qualify to purchase a plot at the Estate, dismissing the general misconception that the project is for the wealthy and elite only.

The project will make optimum use of the land and water, hence the inclusion of the twenty four hectare golf course. Fifty six hectares have been allocated to urban housing and about five (ha) to the village. The project at its completion will be a N$2 billion investment and would have created approximately 1000 jobs for work directly funded by Omeya, making this one of the largest property investments in Namibia

The investors’ focus is to employ people from the surrounding areas of Aris and Groot Aub.

Says Botha, “We recognise that employment opportunities in the rural areas of Namibia are limited and that Government’s commitment to decentralisation and development of the rural areas must be accompanied by job creation for residents in those areas.

“Without government’s vision and guidance from the Ministry of Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Affairs, Ministry of Lands Resettlement and the Ministry of Trade and Industry this project would never have come off the ground. Omeya is a true Namibian project funded by Namibians and built for Namibians, but to show off to the world.”

The Omeya village is designed for a lifestyle concept of the future. The village “Square” will cater for the market stalls, bistros and shops, which will be integrated with offices for those who wish to “work from home”.

A “4 star” Omeya Hotel will have 20 rooms with conferencing facilities for 300 people. The idea is that people going on conference, will stay on the estate and not in the hotel only. This is another great business opportunity for people to invest at Omeya and rent out the property for conferences and tourists, he says.

A children’s park, Omeya Park will have go carts, crazy golf, swimming pool, water slides and climbing apparatus to keep the kids busy while the golf club house, restaurant, and spa will benefit both the residents and visitors of Omeya.

Adds Botha, “The project is also about tourism. We want to show the world Namibia’s latest treasure. The Auas mountains nearby will offer hiking trails, nature walks, quad bike sports, hunting and overnight camping off the Estate. Residents can also engage Omeya’s equestrian facilities and wellness centre. The “Green” at Omeya is designed to allow young and old to play outdoor sport games. The green is also ideal for business league games, and outdoor concerts.

We are fortunate that there is a train stop right on our door step and this Estate will offer an alternative destination for tourists who are enchanted by travelling by train. We will go into partnerships with tour operators and we are already negotiating with Trans Namib to bring tourists to the Estate on the “Omeya Desert Express Tour”

Furthermore, the Project will also focus at engaging the people of Windhoek as an alternative outing and enjoy the 3D cinema, crafts and other outdoor shopping facilities unique to the village.

The investors have also placed great value on the value of education and to that end, will build a pre-primary and primary school for the children of Omeya residents. Children not living on the estate may also enrol at the school.

The Omeya school song “Let Go” which was composed by well known Namibian Pop music sensation Stefan Ludik was recently launched at the “Hart van Windhoek” festival.

It will be a community school that will follow the Namibian school curriculum and one that will allow the children to engage the outdoor life to the fullest. Part of the daily school curriculum will be for children to engage in sports like golf, and hockey and other indoor sports.

Omeya will also have a clinic and a resident doctor,” Botha says.

Omeya views itself as an integral part of the capital, Windhoek and to ensure smooth integration with Windhoek, an Omeya Lounge will be built in Windhoek where a shuttle service will transfer residents and visitors to and from the lounge and Omeya.

The shuttle service to the residents of Omeya will be free. The facility will also offer transport services for the employees working at the Estate who are not resident there. The first houses built on the estate are for employees of the estate who will manage and maintain the estate and golf course.

Security concerns have been adequately catered for and the Estate will be fenced right round. However the residential plots inside will have no walls and fences.

This, to enhance interaction within the estate between residents, as Botha quips; “For once you will know who your neighbour is.

“Our idea of an Estate is an open not closed society. People at Omeya should not feel they are locked up on their plot. Security to the homes can be in the form of alarm systems that will be centrally controlled and monitored, the security personnel will be on site and access into the Estate will be controlled.”

To keep pace with the technological advancement the Estate will have wireless internet connection as the developers have taken note of the new developments catapulting ICT services to greater thresholds in Namibia.

The golf course is designed by renowned South African designer Peter Matkovich and will be one of the greatest golfing experiences in Africa.

The golf irrigation system that will be installed is the first of its kind in Africa, according to Botha. The system adopted from America, will ensure optimal utilisation of water for the golf course. Matkovich is first and foremost a conservationist golf course designer. As golf forms an integral component of the estate, a golf academy will be completed by March next year where young and old can come and learn to play golf, or improve on their golfing skills.

The project was initiated in 2006 and it took the developers four years to go through all the legal pre-approval stages. In December 2009, Omeya Estate project was officially launched. “We are on track to open the golf course, the Club House and Sports facilities in February 2012. We have finalized phase one of development and people will be able to take ownership of transfers of their plots in February 2011.”

To date, Omeya has sold 220 of the 384 urban plots and the Estate is advocating for the sophisticated farm house architectural style, one that bears a reflection of the country’s heritage.

“Omeya is a national treasure open for all to be part of our heritage,” Botha concludes. PF