Photo by Khalfan al Ruzaiqi
Muscat: Muscat: A new draft of the Law will be ready in the last quarter of 2021, which will be also marked as the year of transparency, said the government on Monday.
Dr. Khalfan al Shueili, Minister of Housing and Urban Planning, said “The new plans and focus are necessary because the population of Oman is expected to reach between 7.1 and 7.5 million by 2040, which may need around 911,400 more housing units,” he said.
Speaking to the media, he said that there has been an accumulation of housing applications registered in some governorates since 2008 due to the non-availability of suitable lands in those regions. “As part of its efforts to achieve the main objective of granting lands to those who deserve it, the ministry continues to necessary plans to accommodate the largest possible amount of these requests. The plan for 2021 includes the distribution of 23,066 plots of land in the various governorates of the Sultanate,”
Nearly 60 percent (269, 316) of the total requests (447,612,) for land were received from women, the ministry revealed on Monday.
The plan for 2021 will be in line with the national priorities of Vision 2040 and based on the National Urban Development Strategy – performance indicators, initiatives, and ambitious projects.
The ministry’s strategy is based on a basic foundation, which is the institutional culture. It is based on four priorities and with clear objectives: competencies and capacity building, digital transformation. governance and legislation, identity and communication.
On the issue of allowing vertical development, the minister said one of the distant features of Muscat is that it is free of skyscrapers, but that does not mean the door to vertical expansion – towers and skyscrapers – is closed. He said the vertical model of development has its benefits in delivering services and infrastructure at lower costs and faster.
A ministry official said that what is being said about granting of lands worth tens of thousands of square meters to one person is unfounded.
“The mixing of land uses within a single scheme was common in the past, and during recent years the existence of lands with different uses has become for the purpose of serving the needs of regions and plans within the community,” he said.
Al Shueili said that he wishes not to generalize that the ministry tainted by corruption, but stressed that the new team has put in place a structure with a future to push it towards the right direction and to achieve the vision of 2040.”
To a question about the ministry’s intention to withdraw some large, unused lands, he said, “There is no legal basis and no clause in the government laws offers a provision for this.”
The ministry will launch 59 new electronic services in 2021 covering various sectors -housing, urban planning, real estate development, real estate registry, lands, customer services, which will speed up the provision of services and ease of obtaining them.