The Sultanate has allowed citizens of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to own real estate as per the rules and regulations of the regions. However, the same rules allow each country in the region to safeguard and protect its territorial integrity. This is seen as important for the security and stability of each country and give citizens of all these countries a sense of confidence.
That is why the Royal Decree No. 29/2018 was issued, which prohibits non-Omanis from owning land in certain areas in several governorates.
The decision was taken because of some factors and adverse situations faced by the Sultanate recently. The decree has created a sense of satisfaction among the people of the country.
It is considered a “giant step” that has dispelled fears in the minds of people of the country. These people had observed certain efforts did not match the real meaning of real estate ownership as well as its objectives.
The new royal decree prohibits non-Omani ownership of land and real estate in some places, including Buraimi, Musandam, Dhofar, Dhahirah, Wusta, Shinas, Liwa, Jabal Akhdhar and Jabal Shams, and heritage sites and sensitive locations as well as agricultural lands.
These properties have to be sold within two years or they will be confiscated and sold by the judiciary. The properties have to be transferred to Omanis by November 11, 2020.
The decision was taken following studies and wide-ranging discussions. This shows that His Majesty Sultan Qaboos will not compromise on security and integrity of the country.
The new decree was issued after authorities found some inappropriate practices in the acquisition of real estate. Some acquisitions had taken place in geographically sensitive areas of the country.
All countries around the world regulate the sale of land and real estate within its geographical ambit and take measures to protect national interests whenever required. There is no doubt the competent organisations are aware of it.
Reactions to the decision reflect an understanding of various dimensions of the decree and its objectives.
This is an approach taken by the Sultanate with an aim to protect and defend the country’s properties.
Some of the people were focused on purchase of lands in the bordering areas at strategic and sensitive locations. This had raised questions and legitimate concerns in society. The new decree clearly addresses all these concerns and issues.
The royal decree clearly demarcates areas and sites in governorates that need to be protected. Meanwhile, Oman has kept its lands open for investments from the Gulf.
The decree should be understood properly and in the right context as it safeguards everybody’s interests.
There are certain integrated tourist complexes and housing units that are open for sale and purchase for all nationalities. They are of high quality. This encourages investments and real estate ownerships without ignoring the supreme interests of the country.
We hope the authorities follow up on implementation of the decree and the real estate will be registered as per the law without any violations.
We expect everyone to understand the reasons behind the decree. It is the legitimate right of any country to take measures, and enact laws and legislations to protect its interests.