real estate

National strategy for real estate sector soon

September 9, 2021

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MHUP) is preparing to formulate a national strategy for the development of the real estate sector in Oman.

The ministry has floated a tender for consultancy services offering a broad outline on the advisory services for the preparation of the national plan.

The scope of work includes preparing the national strategy for the real estate sector which will be undertaken in four stages: Evaluation of current situation, developing the strategy, brand strategy and marketing campaign and artificial intelligence database and forecasting tools.

‘The consultant must clearly explain in his proposals the methodology for implementing these four stages of works and specify the techniques and models that will be used in the implementation of each stage,’ the MHUP stated in the tender document. The bid submission closes on October 18.

Oman has simplified procedures and laid down several regulations in order to stimulate the real estate sector, while work is also in progress to issue the Real Estate Development Law.

The new law will include the development of a real estate indicator to evaluate properties, focus on the role of real estate brokers and evaluators, and set clear standards for their work, while promoting various aspects of the real estate market.

The ministry has already completed the final draft and also obtained the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs’ approval for its implementation.

The process of engaging all stakeholders related to the regulation is currently going on, according to the Economic Diversification Report 2020 of the Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-Up Unit.

The MHUP worked with former Implementation Support and Follow-Up Unit (ISFU) to draft the Foreign Ownership of Real Estate regulation, which was later issued in October last year.

‘The initiative aims to find a tool for foreign individuals to own/benefit from specific housing ranges, in order to keep capital in the sultanate and promote foreign investment.’

With an aim to further revitalise the real estate sector, the MHUP reduced housing fees in 2020 and proposed a new way of owning real estate units.

The MHUP and the Ministry of Finance worked jointly to reduce the housing fees from five per cent to three per cent, while it started a rent-to-own agreement system. Through the rent-to-own agreement, one can commit to renting a property for a specific period of time, with the option of buying it before the lease runs out. To speed up and minimise the procedures involved in setting up real estate ventures or owing one, the MHUP has been operating the Real Estate Development Centre.

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