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Oman to lay foundation stone for PPP housing project

Supreme Council of Planning and Ministry of Housing are collaborating on the scheme

A rendering of Oman's integrated residential project in Barka [image: ONA].
A rendering of Oman's integrated residential project in Barka [image: ONA].

Oman will lay the foundation stone for an affordable housing development built through a public-private partnership (PPP) in the coastal city of Barka on 22 October.

Representatives from the country's Supreme Council of Planning (SCP) will attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the integrated residential project in northern Oman, on behalf of HE Sheikh Saif bin Mohammed Al Shabibi, Minister of Housing.

Oman's state-run news agency said the mixed-use residential community was a “first-of-its-kind” project for the sultanate due to its PPP model, which would see “one of the leading real estate companies” develop the community in accordance with international construction standards. The name of the company was not revealed, nor was the project's value, but it is believed to the be the first time that SCP and Oman's Ministry of Housing have collaborated on a project of this scale.

READ: Housing plot allocation up 30% in Oman

The Barka-based residential community will have shops, a mosque, healthcare centres, public parks, and an open grassy field for sport. The project is designed to attract Omanis seeking affordable and modern properties. Equipped with integrated infrastructure, tree-lined boulevards, ample parking, and a host of amenities, officials in Oman's government hope the project will stimulate economic growth and reduce state spending through private sector collaboration, according to Oman News Agency.

Meanwhile, real estate deals in Oman have been on the slide recently, as Ministry of Housing statistics recorded a year-on-year decline in the value of property deals during the first six months of 2018. Despite a rise in cash generated by stamp duty collection fees, money made by property sales dropped marginally by 0.4% in H1 2018 when compared to the same period a year ago. 

A surge in housing plot allocation has partially offset the nominal value decline. In total, 22,128 residential plots were handed out between January and July 2018, marking a 29% rise on the 17,125 building plots granted by the government during the first seven months of 2017.

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