Dubai: Expatriates and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals living in Oman can now buy land in the country and also extend the size of their residential or commercial properties following a landmark decision.
The decision comes after an amendment in the constitution, following a ministerial decision issued recently, a senior official of Oman's Ministry of Housing said.
"Article (1) of the decision says that the expansion and increase in the land area is possible for GCC residents, non-Omanis and citizens. This extension will only be allowed if there is a need to go for an extension and the price of the land shall be set according to the rates laid down by the Ministry of Housing," the Times of Oman quoted him as saying.
The official, who was not named by the paper, said that expatriates are allowed to own land or constructed units for residential or investment purposes in integrated tourism complexes licensed by competent government agencies, which is subject to the approval by the Ministry of Tourism.
According to him, the expatriates are also allowed to sell built units at any time.
"However, anyone who bought a piece of land in an integrated tourism complex should develop it or maintain it well for four years from the date of registration of the property. The land cannot be disposed of within the first four years, except by mortgage to finance its development," he said.
But, he said, if the land is not developed or utilised within the first four years, the Ministry of Housing, Electricity and Water may dispose of it by public auction and reimburse the owner with the auction amount.
Gulf Cooperation Council is a political and economic union of the six Arab states, bordering the Persian Gulf and located on or near the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.
First Published: Monday, May 28, 2012, 14:42