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Know Oman: Expats, foreigners may own certain property in the Sultanate
June 30, 2018 | 9:25 PM
by Madiha Asif / [email protected]
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In a series of articles about Oman’s rules and regulations, entitled “Know Oman”, experts have guided readers on their rights and responsibilities while working and living in Oman.

Muscat: Expats residing in Oman, as well as foreigners living abroad, are allowed to buy real estate properties in the Sultanate under certain conditions. However, the situation is not the same for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals, say Oman’s top lawyers.

In a series of articles about Oman’s rules and regulations, entitled ‘Know Oman’, experts guide readers on their rights and responsibilities while working and living in Oman. Speaking exclusively to the Times of Oman, representatives of Mohammed Ibrahim Law Firm, a leading legal office in Oman, discussed how to buy real estate properties in Oman.

“Expats living in the Sultanate and foreigners living abroad can buy properties only in certain areas of the Sultanate, which are defined as ‘touristic areas’ and not in areas close to the national borders,” said Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Zadjali, Chairman of Mohammed Ibrahim Law Firm.



“These areas include Al Mouj, Muscat Hills, Tilal Muscat/City Centre, and others, in Muscat and many more around the country. However, the Ministry of Tourism is defining what other areas will be included in this category, and the list of touristic areas is constantly growing,” Al Zadjali said.

He added that foreigners who buy property in the Sultanate will be granted permanent residency for himself, as well as for the closest family members that include his wife and children.



Another spokesperson of the law firm said that the territorial conditions for buying a house in Oman are not the same for GCC nationals, as they can buy properties located in any area in the Sultanate, except near the national borders. “If GCC national buys a private property – a flat or a villa, and wants to resell it, he must wait a minimum of four years.

“But if the GCC national is an investor, who bought a piece of land and built a residential building, then he can sell the flats in that building immediately, without any time limitations, either to Omani nationals or to any other GCC citizens,” the spokesperson said.

He added that lifelong residency does not apply to GCC nationals who buy property in Oman, because they already have free movement within GCC countries and are authorised to stay in the country without iqama (sponsorship).

Regarding the process or the documents, there is nothing legally defined, except presenting a passport and ID card, according to the expert of the law firm.

“GCC nationals will only be required to sign an agreement with the current owner and then go with the owner to the Ministry of Housing to transfer the ownership.

“However, inside touristic areas the process is defined by the companies who are managing these areas and may place some specific conditions or requirements,” the expert said.

Moreover, the expert said that a new law on buying properties prepared by the Ministry of Housing, is being discussed in the Majlis Al Shura. “Our lawyers are keeping an eye on it and will update the Times of Oman readers accordingly if any new rules are published,” the expert said.

Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Al Zadjali, Chairman of Mohammed Ibrahim Law Firm.


Mohammed Ibrahim Law Firm ([email protected]) was established 11 years ago and is serving clients through its offices in Muscat and Sohar, as well as operating on a request basis in other areas, such as Duqm.

It offers legal representation across a wide range of practice areas that include labour law, corporate, commercial, contracts, banking and finance, international trade, foreign investment, insurance, maritime law, construction and engineering contracts, international arbitration, intellectual property and more.

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