Muscat: 23,000 housing plots are to be distributed to Omani nationals in 2021, according to the orders of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik.
About 1,006 parcels of land have already been issued until the end of March, under this scheme, and the remaining will be assigned during the rest of the year.
Explaining the intention behind providing housing plots to Omanis, a representative from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning said, “We have sought to find suitable alternatives to the issues of increasing demand for residential land, and reduce the amount of time people spend waiting for their turn to be given their plots.”
“There was a scarcity of land suitable for residential planning, particularly in the Governorate of Muscat,” he added. “Integrated neighbourhood projects serve as an alternative to this issue. An example of such an alternative project is the Sorouh residential project.”
With the foundation stone laid in October 2018, the Sorouh project includes 1,000 housing units on an area of 350,000 square metres. Its construction will take part across several stages, with each including the setting up of both villas and flats. Infrastructure management on the property is the responsibility of developers, while a number of services will also be provided within. The government will make sure a number of additional facilities required by those who live in the complex are located nearby."
“We hope the project will provide good housing at an affordable cost, in a high-level community and an urban environment,” said the ministry official. “It will feature public services such as mosques, a health centre, a commercial area, parks, sports fields, and recreational services. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning is working on an agreement to prepare the Naseem neighbourhood project as part of its development plans,” he added.
“It is expected that all of the main elements required for the project to begin will be in place soon. This will also provide us alternatives in terms of adequate housing for citizens eligible for residential lands.”
Work on the Sorouh project is also ongoing. In the next few months, an important milestone will be reached in its construction, with the establishment of a marketing office. Efforts to both market and sell these homes will then be done simultaneously. The development of the Naseem complex is part of the Sorouh housing initiative, which will provide citizens the opportunity to live in a neighbourhood that meets all their requirements and an enhanced modern lifestyle.
Construction activities in the Naseem complex are being supervised by the ministry. The first phase of the project is being undertaken by Edarak Development Company, which is contracted to work on the residences under a partnership signed between the private and public sectors. Edarak will also set up the additional infrastructure and facilities located within the complex.
Work has already begun on 22 independent homes, along with additional services such as sidewalks, walkways and greenery. This will be used as the model to market the project. These homes will be first made available to people who apply for land in South Al Batinah and Muscat. Similar projects are also expected to come up in other governorates.
Several criteria will be taken into account before allocating these homes to their new owners, among which are when and where applications for residential land were submitted. The Naseem complex aims to provide its homeowners the perfect balance between nature, and Omani heritage, while making sure it meets international standards.
Breaking down the distribution of housing plots across the Sultanate, Ibrahim Al Maimani, a data analyst, said an average of 2,444 plots of land must be assigned to applicants every month, if the remaining 21,994 plots are to be distributed by the end of the year.
“Going back to previous years, we find that 31,593 were distributed in 2017, 30,448 in 2018, 28,099 in 2019, and 13,333 in 2020,” he said. “Last year, South Sharqiyah had the lion’s share of the distribution (2,180 plots), followed by North Sharqiyah (2,058) and the Dakhiliyah Governorate, with 1,820 residential plots.
Al Maimani added: “In 2021, 1,006 plots have been distributed until the end of March – the largest number of plots were assigned in the South Al Batinah Governorate (237), followed by North Al Batinah (212) and Ad Dhahirah (155).”