The housing sector is considered to be among the most vital sectors in the economy and plays an increasingly important role in the rapid urban and economic development currently being witnessed in the Sultanate. Being a service sector, it is linked directly to the daily life of the country's citizens. The Ministry of Housing (MoH) focuses on implementing short-term and long-term plans and programs to promote housing, urban and real estate development in a way that benefits all members of society and provides social stability to all Omani families.
Along with its directories and departments in the various governorates, the MoH takes the help of the Supreme Committee for Town Planning, Surveying Department, Lands Department, local committees, Real Estate Registration Department and social housing programs, to implement its housing policy. This report reviews the MoH's achievements in terms of numbers and percentage at various levels across all the governorates.
Town planning and surveying
The aim of urban planning is to achieve a balanced development across the various governorates of the Sultanate by preparing detailed plans and allocating land in towns and villages for various uses. Using urban plans and planning charts, the MoH has provided 58997 plots of land spread across the governorates of the Sultanate for various uses to Omani citizens. Out of the total number of land plots allocated for various uses by the MoH, a majority (19 per cent) lie in the Al-Sharqiyah North Governorate and 80 per cent (46,996 housing plots) was allocated for housing use.
The MoH allocated land plots for various uses totalling 2,374 in the Dhofar Governorate; 10,045 in Al-Batinah South; 1,507 in the Al-Batinah North Governorate; 1,137 in the Al-Buraimi Governorate; 7,637 in the Al-Dhahirah Governorate; 168 in the Musandam Governorate; 9,531 in the Al-Dakhiliyah Governorate; 6,071 in the Al-Sharqiya South Governorate; 10,965; in the Al-Sharqiyah North Governorate; and 9,562 in the Al-Wusta Governorate.
The MoH recently issued a regulation for controlling the land allocated for various uses through Ministerial Decision no.: (53/2013). The regulation emphasised the need to comply with the rules of the planning process regarding applications for extension, change of usage, modification of the shape of the land plots, integration of land plots, parcelling of land, addition of new land plots in the plan and increasing the height of buildings.
The land for various uses are granted according to the regulations laid down by the Royal Decrees; in addition to the MoH's decisions and circulars emanating from the decrees on the conditions for granting the land for various uses to Omani men and women.
In 2013, the total number of land plots allocated by the MoH across various Omani governorates was 37,750, with the Al-Batinah South and North governorates comprising the lion's share of the plots granted to male and female citizens at 21 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively. The highest number of plots was allocated for residential use at 92 per cent or 34,815 plots.
In 2013, the land plots granted by the MoH to male and female citizens totalled 1,297 in the Muscat Governorate and 7,791 in the Al-Batinah South Governorate. The MoH granted residential land plots totalling 6,853 in the Al-Batinah North Governorate; 116 in the Musandam Governorate; 5,073 in the Al-Dhahirah Governorate; 568 in the Al-Buraimi Governorate; 6,053 in the Al-Dakhiliyah Governorate; 1,879 in the Al-Sharqiyah South Governorate; 6,009 in the Al-Sharqiyah North Governorate; 182 in the Al-Wusta Governorate; and 1,929 in the Dhofar Governorate.
The Lands Affairs Committees held 267 meetings and perused 15,181 cases in 2013. The number of cases presented to the local committees in different wilayats of the Sultanate reached 10,309, while 11,080 cases were recorded and the title deeds for 7,565 plots of land were granted to Omani citizens, in line with the provisions of land