Muscat: Al Mouj Muscat has sold more properties to clients abroad this year since sales started in 2006, with nearly a third of its properties being bought by people living outside Oman.
Such sales accounted for less than 5 per cent until last year, according to Nasser Al Sheibani, chief executive (CEO) of Al Mouj Muscat.
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Its most expensive villa and apartment, costing more than OMR3 million and OMR700,000 respectively, were also sold to clients overseas this year, Al Sheibani said, adding that the promotional strategies used by Al Mouj Muscat seem to have paid off well and that the economic downturn has not affected their sales efforts so far.
“Until 2015, we were promoting ourselves largely inside Oman and nearly 95 per cent of our clients were in the local market. In 2016, we changed our strategy to market ourselves outside Oman and we were surprised to see that most people weren’t even aware of a place like Oman, let alone its beauty and receptiveness.”
He said they developed different strategies to promote Oman, some of which included inviting clients in the country. “The response was overwhelming; potential clients overseas love to see Oman as their second home.”
The lavish assets in Oman have drawn buyers from all over the world, boasting a community of 70 different nationalities. Omanis are ranked as the top buyers of property sold by Al Mouj Muscat, followed by the British, Indians and Gulf Cooperation Council and Arab nationals.
Al Mouj Muscat is promoting itself abroad in many markets, such as the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Tanzania, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, India, and Kenya as it aims to attract foreign investment into the country.
Al Sheibani enunciated the importance of promoting Oman as a country rather than promoting the property itself. “We need to showcase to potential clients overseas what Oman is first, how it’s naturally beautiful and how welcoming the people are, secondly promote Muscat as a modern and well developed city and then promote Al Mouj Muscat’s properties. Private companies must complement the government’s efforts to promote Oman as a tourist destination.”
Once people actually visit Oman, they want to live here and be a part of the country, which is when they would buy properties here, he explained. Al Sheibani also mentioned that clients come to Oman and see its untapped potential and find out about its free zones and investment incentives, and they want to buy properties and open businesses here, which is a direct foreign investment for Oman.
Al Sheibani noted that Al Mouj Muscat does not consider rivals inside the country as they are all promoting investment in Oman; instead he looks at international developers looking to take away business out of Oman as their major competitors.
Currently, Al Mouj Muscat has two luxury hotels under construction and has sold 2,200 residential units, out of which more than 1,600 have been delivered to customers. It has also gotten a strong response to its freehold property sales in the past decade, successfully developing a vibrant community of more than 4,000 people living in luxurious properties.
It also welcomes approximately 10,000 visitors a day to its iconic center—The Walk—according to official data provided by Al Mouj Muscat.