New regulations for real estate in Duqm from tomorrow

The implementation of the regulation governing Real Estate Development in The Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZD) shall commence tomorrow (Wednesday). The SEZAD Board of Directors has already approved and endorsed the Regulation at its second meeting this year chaired by H.E. Yahya bin Said Al-Jabri, Chairman of the Board.

The Regulation, published in the latest issue of the Official Gazette, aims to strengthen SEZAD’s efforts to attract domestic and foreign investments and provide the legislative environment that encourages the private sector to invest in the construction of real estate development projects, such as tourist complexes and multi-story buildings allocated for residential, commercial or tourist uses.

Ismail bin Ahmed al Balushi, SEZAD’s Deputy CEO, indicated that the real estate development projects are one of the investment areas in the Zone that has witnessed great interest from investors over the past years. Therefore, SEZAD sought to draft the Regulation that regulates the use of state owned lands for real estate development, and clarifies the rules for the sale of usufruct rights of real estate units, and sets out the developer’s obligations and usufructuary’s rights.
In an interview, Al-Balushi added that the new Regulation also aims to encourage citizens and foreigners to stay in Duqm by allowing them to purchase the usufruct rights offered by real estate developers for sale. The Regulation allows Omanis and other nationalities – whether natural or legal – to acquire usufruct rights of real estate units built in real estate development projects. This will contribute to meet the expected demand on residential units in Duqm, which is in line with SEZAD’s plan to make the Zone a suitable place to live and stay.

Good Areas of Land
According to the new Regulation, real estate developers will receive a good total land area of not less than 100,000 square meters per project, allowing them to provide many facilities for the residents. The term of the usufruct shall be 50 calendar years which is renewable for similar periods. This shall provide the stability which has sought by workers and residents in Duqm.

Facilities for Foreigners
SEZAD’s Deputy CEO has highlighted the facilitations provided by the Regulation for foreigners. He has added that residency may be granted under the procedure’s of the Royal Omani Police to usufructuary’s who reside in properties located in one of the real estate development projects in the Zone and their first degree relatives, subject to the provisions of the Regulation and without prejudice to the provisions of Omani’s Foreigners’ Residency Law. It is also possible to grant residence to two natural persons who are not related to the usufructuary but legally represent the legal usufructuary. This procedure also applies to the legal representative of the principal developer and his or her first-degree relatives.

Usufructer’s Rights
Al-Balushi discussed the contents of the Real Estate Development Regulation on the usufructuary’s rights. He added that the Regulation stipulates the right of the usufructuary to use the real estate unit in its entirety and the parts intended for the common use of the building and to dispose of this right and exploit it without prejudice to the ownership of the assets. The principal developer may transfer or dispose of the usufruct right after obtaining SEZAD’s written approval without prejudice to usufruct of the real estate units.
Real Estate Usufructers’ Associations
The Regulation allows the usufructuary of real estate units to form and manage associations that include a group of neighboring properties. The association shall maintain the safety of the property, its common parts and its annexes, and ensure its maintenance, the provision of the required services for the property, and the optimum use for the purpose for which it was established. For this purpose, the associations have the right to contract with companies specialized in the maintenance of buildings and are registered with SEZAD as determined by the Board in terms of the conditions, controls and procedures set in this regard.

Ismail bin Ahmed Al-Balushi, SEZAD’s Deputy CEO, called upon investors wishing to establish real estate development projects in Duqm to obtain a license from SEZAD in accordance with the provisions of the Regulation regulating the Investment Environment in the Zone and confirmed that SEZAD has been working to remove all the difficulties and obstacles facing investors when implementing projects in the Zone.