Muscat: Housing Ministry’s new decision grants expats usufruct rights to buy residential properties in Oman.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning today issued a decision granting non-Omanis usufruct rights for ownership of limited lands and properties in multi-storey buildings dedicated to commercial and residential purposes in some sites in the Muscat Governorate.
The decision came after an exhaustive study conducted by the Ministry, in cooperation with the departments concerned with activating the real estate market and upgrading its performance rates within the framework of a government plan, to enhance economic diversification and attract foreign capital.
The Ministry explained that the new decision dealing with the usufruct system’s purchase regulations coincides with the launch of investment incentivising projects in the promising real estate sector, as well as its related activities, for the sake of achieving sustainable development.
The decision should also give a boost to real estate investment projects that are capable of causing a qualitative shift and establishing a lucrative business environment in the sector by pumping in liquidity.
This approach is an extension of other ministerial decisions – like the system of property ownership in integrated tourism complexes and GCC citizens’ ownership of properties outside restricted areas.
The approach is one of the various economic diversification mechanisms aimed at supporting the Sultanate’s financial position by recycling funds of residents locally. It targets the collection of 8 per cent of unit price, which will boost the State’s revenues from this sector.
The Ministry said it will announce steps to be taken towards selling residential units to non-Omanis (under usufruct terms) and deadlines for receiving applications of licenses to ensure commitment to financial ceiling and percentages for sale, which, according to the decision, shall not exceed 40 per cent of the units in multi-floor commercial-cum-residential buildings or 20 per cent of one particular nationality of the allocated percentage.
It should be noted that it is not allowed to have more than one owner from each nationality in each building. The rest of the properties will be floated for purchase by citizens.
There are also planning terms to be met prior to granting licenses for the sale of real estate property units in commercial buildings in Muscat. The Directorate-General of Real Estate Planning will oversee the issuance of licenses during the forthcoming period.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning liaised with departments concerned for the selection of particular sites where the new decision will be applied.
The aim is to preserve the properties of society and take into account its demographic composition.
The sites offered for usufruct here are selected in certain locations under specific terms and regulations, as follows:
· In the Wilayat of Bausher, Phases 1, 2 and 3.
· In Al Khuwair Phase 2.
· In Watteyah Phase 2.
· In Ghala Heights Phase 1 and 2.
· In Misfat area Phase 2.
· In the Wilayat of A’Seeb, Al Mawaleh Al Janoubia, Phase 5.
· In Al Khoudh Phase 2.
· In Al Maabailah Al Janoubia Phase 7.
· In the Wilayat of Al Amerat Phase 1 of Al Hashia, Phase 1 of Al Mahaj, and Phase 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Madinat Al Nahdha.
The Ministry reaffirmed that the departments concerned will follow up with owners of residential-cum-commercial units in Muscat Governorate.
The owners will be urged to set up ‘landlord societies’ to undertake the supervision of buildings.
The system of the apartment and commercial outlet ownership seeks to protect the units and real estate property development projects and make them more attractive to investors.