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    New real estate regulations take effect at Duqm Special Economic Zone

    A new regulation on real estate ownership within Duqm special economic zone will come into force on Wednesday.

    The new regulation allows real estate developers to get a land area of not less than 100,000 square metres per project, allowing them to provide many facilities for the residents. The term of the usufruct will be 50 years, which is renewable for similar periods. This will provide the stability, which was sought by workers and residents in Duqm.

    The Special Economic Zone Authority Duqm’s (Sezad) board has approved the regulation at a recent meeting chaired by Yahya bin Said Al Jabri.

    The regulation, published in the latest issue of the Official Gazette, aims to strengthen Sezad’s efforts to attract domestic and foreign investments and provide the legislative environment that encourages the private sector to invest in the construction of real estate development projects, such as tourist complexes and multi-storied buildings allocated for residential, commercial or tourist uses.

    Ismail bin Ahmed Al Balushi, deputy chief executive officer of Sezad, said that the real estate projects are one of the investment areas in the zone that has witnessed great interest from investors over the past years. Therefore, Sezad drafted the regulation that regulates the use of state-owned land for real estate development, and clarifies the rules for the sale of usufruct rights of real estate units.

    Al Balushi added that the new regulation also aims to encourage citizens and foreigners to stay in Duqm by allowing them to purchase the usufruct rights offered by real estate developers for sale. It also allows Omanis and other nationalities - whether natural or legal - to acquire usufruct rights of real estate units built in real estate development projects. This will contribute to meet the expected demand on residential units in Duqm, which is in line with Sezad’s plan to make the zone a suitable place to live and stay.

    Al Balushi said that residency may be granted under the procedure’s of the Royal Omani Police to the buyers who reside in properties located in one of the real estate development projects in the zone and their first degree relatives. This is subject to the provisions of the regulation and without prejudice to the provisions of Omani’s Foreigners’ Residency Law. It is also possible to grant residence to two natural persons who are not related to the buyer but legally represent the owner.

    Rights of the buyer

    Al Balushi said that the regulation stipulates the right of the buyer to use the real estate unit in its entirety and the parts intended for the common use of the building. The law also allows the buyer to dispose of this right and exploit it without prejudice to the ownership of the assets. The principal developer may transfer or dispose of the usufruct right after obtaining Sezad’s written approval without prejudice to usufruct of the real estate units.

    The regulation allows the buyer of real estate units to form and manage associations that include a group of neighbouring properties. The association will have to maintain the safety of the property, its common parts and its annexes, and ensure its maintenance, the provision of the required services for the property, and the optimum use for the purpose for which it was established. For this purpose, the associations have the right to contract with companies specialised in the maintenance of buildings and are registered with Sezad as determined by the board in terms of the conditions, controls and procedures set in this regard.

    Al Balushi called on investors to establish real estate development projects in Duqm to obtain a license from Sezad in accordance with the provisions of the regulation.

    - Times of Oman

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