Govt to allot plots via public auction

By Zainab Al Nasseri — MUSCAT: Jan. 8 – Shaikh Saif bin Mohammed al Shabibi, Minister of Housing, on Sunday issued Ministerial Decision 24/2016, stipulating that allotment of government plots for commercial, residential and industrial use, as well for new fuel stations, will be done via public auction. The decision grants the ministry the right to allot 25 per cent of each layout, earmarked for distribution among applicants, through public auction. This will especially be the case where the layouts in question are located alongside main roads. Bidders seeking commercial, residential and industrial plots can only be Omani citizens of ages 23 years and above. Bidding is limited to not more than two plots per applicants, according to the regulations.

Only Omanis of ages 23 years and above can bid for government plots to be used as fuel stations along main roads. Those who already own commercial, residential, or industrial land allotted for fuel stations under their names or as part of their company property fully or partly, cannot bid for new properties. Moreover, eligible bidders can only one plot. The minimum size of land planned for development into a fuel station is 3,000 sq metres, except in cases where the planning and technical criteria of that particular region determines otherwise.

The ministerial decision also sets up an Auction Committee presided over by the Housing Ministry under-secretary with members drawn from the Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Finance, and the Supreme Council for Planning. One of these members will be appointed as deputy chairman with powers to chair the committee’s proceedings.