Friday, June 09, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 19, 1444 H
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'Future Cities Project will offer investment opportunities to expatriates'

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The Future Cities Project announced by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MoHUP) will be an important and all-inclusive step with the participation of expatriates towards the decentralising the urbanisation process and thereby taking the load off the capital Muscat, whose boundaries have also expanded under the new Greater Muscat Plan.

According to Eng Ibrahim bin Hammoud al Waeli, Director of the Urban Strategy Office at MoHUP, the new cities will be developed in Salalah, Bausher, Suhar, Haima, Ibri, and Sur, which will offer an integrated, smart, efficient, healthy, and sustainable urban neighbourhood spread over 20 million sqm, catering to 150,000 people in 40,000 housing units.

He said the number of housing units targeted by these agreements is 40,000 and will be available for ownership to both citizens and expatriates.

MoHUP is also working on preparing a plan for a mixed-used township project in Al Jabal Al Akhdhar, which will be completed this year.

The volume of investments in the real estate sector was RO2.7 billion in 2022 and it offers several investment opportunities.

The new future cities have been proposed in line with the forecast that the Sultanate of Oman's population will be around 8 million by 2040, which will necessitate the need for investments in more housing units across all governorates.

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Last week, the MoHUP signed seven agreements to develop masterplans for future cities spread over seven governorates as part of the efforts to attain a balanced urban development.

It may be noted that expatriates can purchase units in multi-storied commercial and residential buildings under the usufruct system as part of the efforts to stimulate investment in the promising real estate sector to achieve specific growth rates.

It may be noted that the ministry allocated 51 lands this year under the usufruct system in various governorates, distributed over 24 plots of land for commercial use, 23 for industrial use, a site for a cooperative society, two sites for private clinics, and a site for a private hospital.

As part of the real estate development conference, the ministry signed contracts with an estimated investment value of RO 10.5 million.

According to the Minister of Heritage and Tourism, Salim bin Mohammed al Mahrouqi, that both the ministries are jointly developing and implementing regulations for real estate development, including Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITCs) in various governorates.

MoHT is currently working on 10 integrated tourism complexes, which will cater to the recreational and commercial needs of society, apart from being just for residential and hospitality purposes.

According to the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MoTCIT), for smart cities to be sustainable emphasis will have to be given to the development of communication services.

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