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Revealed: Oman to pass law designed to boost PPPs

The law is in line with the Omani government’s plan to “outsource most of the services [it] is providing now from the private sector”, a housing ministry official told Construction Week

Oman will pass a PPP law "soon", according to the director general of real estate development at the country's Ministry of Housing [representational image].
Oman will pass a PPP law "soon", according to the director general of real estate development at the country's Ministry of Housing [representational image].

A law aimed at boosting private-sector engagement in government projects is currently being developed by Oman, an official from the country’s housing ministry has revealed.

Eng Siham Ahmed Al Harthi, director general of real estate development at Oman’s Ministry of Housing, told Construction Week that the sultanate is expecting to "issue very soon" a law on public-private partnerships (PPPs).

According to Al Harthi, the law is in line with the Omani government’s plan to “outsource most of the services [it] is providing now from the private sector”, so it can focus on its role as a regulator.

READ: Oman records real estate deals worth $1.5bn in 2M 2018

“There are many laws coming to improve the relationship between the public and private sectors,” said Al Harthi, noting that Oman has also launched initiatives designed to “provide an investment climate conducive to the real estate industry”.

One of these initiatives is the establishment of a real estate development centre, which she said has been operational for three to four months.

Al Harthi explained that the centre was launched to streamline the process of getting projects approved.

READ: Top six locations for real estate contract wins in Oman

Describing the centre as a “one-stop shop”, she said that developers or their representatives just need to submit project proposals or applications at the centre instead of having to go to different government agencies for housing, municipality, and environment requirements, among others.

“Sometimes investors or developers become confused about where to go or how to finish the process,” she added. “What they need to do now is to go to the centre to get all the information they need to develop the project, and it only takes 27 days for our department to process their request. They no longer have to visit all entities.”

Al Harthi was among the speakers at the Global Infrastructure Congress, which was held in Dubai on 2-3 April, 2018.

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Construction Week - Issue 753
Nov 09, 2019