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Realty rules

The new real estate regulatory framework for Sezad (Special Economic Zone Duqm) that has come into effect this week is a purposeful piece of legislation that can spur the economy further. The new set of rules is calculated to attract private sector investments from domestic and foreign players. The speed at which Sezad is signing up foreign investment confirms the rising profile of the project among regional and other international players. Duqm port’s growth as a major east-facing export-import hub is already attracting international capital and the new rules will elevate the growth potential to a whole new level. The legal framework allows the investors to build multi-storey buildings, tourist complexes and other real estate projects in Sezad for commercial and residential purposes and enjoy usufruct rights. The new investors will earn usufruct rights on land area of not less than 100,000 sqm each making it possible for them to provide useful facilities. As Sezad deputy CEO Ismail Bin Ahmed Al Balushi said the new regulations were required because the overwhelming interest that various players were showing in Sezad. The new regulations will also govern residential rights of investors and their first-degree relation in the zone. Sezad is the pride of the entire Sultanate because of the ability of its administration to find innovative solutions to issues.

Sezad is already set to become a major export-import hub that will be the pivot of the nation’s logistics push. The infrastructure getting ready includes the world-class port and top quality auxiliary facilities. The government has envisioned a steep growth path for the project, putting in place a techno-legal ecosystem to help it develop as a thriving exim hub. The elaborate Bayan system for online clearing and forwarding services is up and running, according to Lieutenant Colonel Mansour Bin Nasser Al Rabbi, Director of Bayan system in the Directorate General of Customs at the Royal Oman Police. He recently said: “The various customs services will effectively encourage importers and exporters to use Omani ports and attract foreign investments, thus improving the performance indicators in various trade and economic fields at the international level.” Bayan, which is one of the largest online systems of the Sultanate, is linked to 42 government departments on the one hand and, on the other, to systems of ports and airports and clearing agencies. Global players have already evinced interest in investing heavily in this new push of the Sultanate. As Awadh Bin Said Al Alavi, Director of Commercial Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, said, the linking up of the Ministry’s systems to Bayan has speeded up processing of the export-import applications and release of shipments. This directly enhances the competitive edge of the nation’s ports and airports. The kind of huge investments that Sezad has been attracting is a tribute to the government’s vision for growth. It is set to become the hub of economic diversification with major international players getting active. It will also serve as the logistics pivot for the region with access to the shipping channels of the Arabian Sea. The $4-billion Middle East Gas Pipeline Project and the Kuwait International Petroleum Company are two key investments that have elevated Sezad’s international profile.