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Housing ministry completes distribution of lands needed to cover 23K applications

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Muscat: The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning affirmed that it is pressing ahead with completing the distribution of lands to cover 23,000 applications in all governorates of the Sultanate of Oman as per the Royal orders of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.

This was stated when Shura Council on Sunday hosted Dr Khalfan Said al Shuaili, Minister of Housing and Urban Planning during its 15th regular session of the 3rd annual sitting of the 9th term to discuss the ministry’s statement.

The Council discussed the statement, which covered five main axes namely general policies for housing and urban planning, a study of the reality of land reconstruction in the Sultanate of Oman, the ministry’s objectives during the implementation period of the 10th five-year development plan (2021-2025), and activating the ministry’s role as part of the projects and programmes of vital sectors within the framework of the 10th five-year development plan, and the partnership with the private sector.

In the statement, Dr Khalfan al Shuaili, Minister of Housing and Urban Planning, said that the ministry had completed the preparation of drafts of the real estate development law, the unified addressing system law and the law on expropriation for the public benefit." Work is also underway to prepare a draft for amending the land registry system, the housing law and the urban planning law.

He added: “The drafts of these laws will be referred to the Council of Oman in accordance with the legislative cycle, and we hope that the Shura Council will enrich them with visions that contribute to their precision and achieve their prospective goals”.

Al Shuaili pointed out that the ministry is working to float another batch of lands using the usufruct system. As many as 430 lands with usufruct rights and fees set for each purpose, and 200 lands with the usufruct system by bidding distributed over all governorates of the Sultanate of Oman. The move contributes to achieving the goals related to the economic sectors.

He reaffirmed that the distribution of residential lands according to an approved methodology takes into account the gradation in the specified number of distribution to ensure the efficiency of "Choose Your Land" platform after linking it with the government departments concerned. Within this context, the distribution of nearly 8,000 residential plots was completed until mid-June 2022.

He added that the ministry is planning to establish several smart cities (model cities) resembling the Smart City project in the Wilayat of Al Seeb, which is a model scheme for a new residential city with special standards and a modern concept to achieve urban sustainability, economic diversification, and raise the quality of life.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Planning said: “The general data before the issuance of Royal Decree No 42/2021 on granting government lands was represented by the issuance of Royal Decree No (93/2020), which stipulated amending the name of the Ministry of Housing to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, defining its terms of reference and approving its organizational structure. As part of its approach to the aspirations of Oman Vision 2040 and in line with the National Urban Development Strategy, the ministry conducted a comprehensive study on the residential land grant system and the challenges it faces”.

He pointed out that the study indicated that the number of housing applications registered until the end of 2020 in all governorates amounted to a total of 447,612 including 123,025 applications registered in the Governorate of Muscat.

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