MUSCAT: Oman’s real estate sector is experiencing a unique phase of growth, driven by economic diversification, foreign investments, and progressive residence and visa policies.
Speaking during a round-table discussion, as part of a video show titled Insider hosted by The Arabian Stories, top experts from both the real estate and construction sector revealed some of the challenges facing an otherwise thriving market.
The value of real estate transactions in Oman has increased by 37.8% by the end of May 2023, according to a report issued by the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI). The figures revealed that the total fees collected for all transactions amounted to OMR 28.9 million, comprising an increase of 17.5% compared to the same period in 2022.
“Construction activity will be key to realising the objectives of Oman Vision 2040, which prioritises diversifying the economy away from a reliance on hydrocarbons revenue. Some of the visionary projects such as Muscat Metro will be a game-changer,” said Dr. Aadil Thomas Alexander, Executive Director of Al Adrak Trading and Contracting and Tourism Council Member at Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI).
Meanwhile, the number of title deeds issued by the end of May 2023 stood at 99,893, comprising a rise of 7.6%. The number of issued title deeds for GCC citizens surged by 68.1% to reach 516.
“The housing sector is getting stabilized in terms of the new properties, and that will average out the demand in terms of the housing aspirations. In fact, we are seeing an interest among customers from UAE looking to buy housing units in Oman,” Dr. Aadil added.
In June, Oman announced the development of a new city, named Sultan Haitham City, once completed the project will house 100,000 people in 20,000 new homes. Themed ‘Treasure the Future’, will showcase 12 global standards on quality of life and welfare. The criteria range between affordable cost, advanced integrated facilities and modern lifestyles. The project will cover an area of approximately 15 million square metres, with a focus on utilising green spaces estimated to be 2.9 million square metres.
“I have been here for the last 11 years and I have seen how the city (Muscat) has evolved over the years. What I have seen is that the population is driving towards the western side of Muscat such as Al Khoud, Mabela and Seeb. Even the locals are also looking to buy properties in those areas and it has impacted the rentals as well. There is a demand for both housing units and commercial facilities in these places and newer developments will only strengthen the property market,” said Saud Khan, Vice President, Investments and Advisory at Tibiaan Properties.
In March 2022, the government issued a directive permitting foreign investors to purchase properties in the country. Investors who purchase a property exceeding OMR 250,000 are eligible for a five-year residency that is extendable. Investors who purchase property exceeding OMR 500,000 are eligible for a long-term residency that is extendable every 10 years. “In terms of these regulations it will attract investments for sure,” added Ridhwan Radzi, Head of Research & Consultancy, at Hamptons International.
The first episode of Insider is co-presented by Jetour and hosted at Aloft Muscat Hotel.
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