New rule allows expats in Oman to purchase property in several locations

Buyers must be older than 23 years old and have resided in Oman for over two years

Oman’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning has announced that non-Omanis can now purchase units in multi-storey commercial and residential buildings under the usufruct system. The move is expected to boost the country’s real estate sector.

According to a report by the Oman Observer, in the first phase, the decision is applicable to certain locations in Muscat, namely Bausher, Al Amerat, and Al Seeb.

The decision was made by Dr Khalfan bin Said al Shu’aili, Minister of Housing and Urban Planning. As per the new rule, the percentage of units sold to expatriates should not exceed 40% of the total number of units in a multi-storey commercial or residential building, and not more than 20% of one particular nationality of the allocated percentage.

The other conditions are that the buyer must be a resident of Oman for over two years at the time of application and not less than 23 years of age. The expatriate or his first-degree relative can own only one unit, and the owner can benefit from the common or shared facilities in the building, the rule outlined.

The owner will be allowed to sell the unit only after four years from the date of the purchase, while the property can be transferred to the legal heir in case of death, Al Shu’aili explained. He added that potential buyers can seek finance including the mortgaging of the usufruct right, from any financial institution.

The decision is part of the ministry’s move to stimulate investment in the real estate sector to achieve specific growth rates, which enhance the performance of related activities and achieve sustainable development, stated the report, citing the under-secretary at the ministry.

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