Register as bachelor or face eviction

The Muscat Municipality, as part of executing a court order, has issued an ultimatum of three days to bachelors to vacate their residences if they are staying in family areas.
According to a statement from the municipality, it is illegal for bachelors to stay in areas which are predominantly occupied by families.
“Either register with the municipality in three days or face eviction,” said the online statement from the civic authorities on Tuesday.
In the recent past, the Muscat Municipality officials raided many areas in Seeb and Mabela.
Ruwi, Hamriyah, Wadi Adai, Al Ghubrah, Muttrah and Darsait are some other places where bachelors are staying in large numbers.
The municipality statement said the new decision is part of a judicial ruling against houses being rented out to bachelors.
Commenting on the move, a municipal councillor said there have been complaints that the presence of a large number of bachelors in thickly populated areas posed trouble for families.
“The number of bachelors staying in residential areas has increased in the recent past due to easy availability of accommodation in old villas and flats,” said the councillor.
“‘Single-room accommodation for bachelors available’ boards are a common sight in many areas in the city. Many building owners find it lucrative to rent out flats or villas to bachelors as they get more rent. In many cases, they do not sign a lease agreement with the tenants,” he said.
According to Municipal Circular 2/2015, villas are off-limits to all, except skilled expat workers, including doctors, engineers and other highly skilled professionals.
“Although they are allowed access to villas, such professionals are limited to one person per room in the property,” said the circular.
The circular issued by the municipality also makes it mandatory for landowners to make clear in rental contracts whether they are renting out their properties to families or bachelors.
The circular said that students, professionals and technicians can rent flats in apartments, but they are not allowed in villas. “Skilled, semi or unskilled — single professionals of mixed sex cannot live in the same property, apartment or villa.”
A municipality official said activities such as illegal food preparations, laundry work and even vegetable farming are said to have been conducted in residential properties. The municipality is contemplating residential complexes for expat bachelors in Maabela, Bausher and Amerat. “Work on this is going on. The Ministry of Housing has already allocated three plots measuring 10,000 square metres to build residential buildings for bachelors,” said the official.