Muscat – The Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning (MHUP) announced on Monday that it has set out to establish sustainable ‘Greater Cities’ or future cities in Salalah, Nizwa, Sohar and Muscat.
MHUP has formed an executive committee to implement the urban strategy for different governorates. The committee has started work on preparing structural plans for Greater Muscat, Greater Salalah, Greater Nizwa and Greater Sohar, in addition to accelerating development in the wilayat of Jabal Akhdar.
The cities, spread over 5mn sqm, will have 10,000 to 30,000 housing units and accommodate 50,000 to 130,000 people.
In its third annual media meeting on Monday, MHUP stated that it is preparing the Jabal Akhdar development plan, which will be completed this year. The project is a mixed-use investment destination aimed at stimulating the economy.
H E Dr Khalfan bin Saeed al Shuaili, Minister of Housing and Urban Planning, affirmed the ministry’s aspiration to achieve the highest level of service efficiency, in line with the objectives of Oman Vision 2040, and move housing services and urban planning to advanced levels with community partnership.
During the meeting, it was revealed that the ministry aims to distribute 23,000 residential plots of land, register more than 30,000 applications for property registration, and support 1,200 families within its housing assistance programme in 2023.
H E Shuaili added that 50 per cent of the previously distributed plots of land have been constructed. “We are now seeking to distribute land to those who are eligible in an organised way.”
About social housing programmes, the ministry informed that 1,400 families benefited from housing assistance worth RO35mn in 2022, while 1,200 families will be provided assistance worth RO35mn in 2023.
Around 700 families, whose monthly income was less than RO350, benefited from exemption of housing loans in 2021 at a financial cost of RO13mn, and more than 1,600 families whose monthly income was less than RO450, benefited in 2022 from a total housing loan exemption of RO29.7mn.
Real estate trading amounted to RO2.7bn in 2022 compared to RO2.6bn in 2021.
The ministry also offered 700 government land plots for investment and collected RO8.6mn from renewal of contracts in 2022. It will offer 400 usufruct land contract via electronic bidding and 250 usufruct land contracts for investment opportunities in year 2023.