Overview

  • By virtue of Oman Sultani Decree No. 5/1980 On Regulating Use of Lands in the Sultanate, all lands within the jurisdiction of Oman are state owned, unless registered in the name of a private person, juristic or individual.
  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 5/1980 also prohibits non-Omanis from purchasing land in Oman unless an exemption is granted by way of a special Royal Decree.
  • This Practice Note will discuss the purchase of agricultural, commercial and industrial land by Omanis and non- Omanis, juristic or individual.

Practical Guidance

  • The buyer can purchase the land from the state or from a private person. If the land is purchased from the state, as long as the person is an Omani national, an application must be made in accordance with Oman Ministerial Decision No. 5/2011 Regarding Commercial or Residential-Commercial or Industrial Lands Ownership. Oman has registered stateowned lands in the name of various ministries, freezone bodies and industrial zone regulatory bodies. Each body has its own regulations upon which the land can be purchased.
  • If the land is purchased by a juristic person, whether owned by Omani nationals or foreign nationals, only one title deed can be registered under the juristic person. However, the extension of land can be increased as the juristic person buys the adjoining places in accordance with Ministerial Decision No. 43/2012 Organizing Areal Extensions and Increases for GCC Citizens, Non-Omanis and Omani Juridical Persons.
  • If the land is purchased by a juristic person having foreign ownership, it must always have at least 30% Omani shareholding and must be a joint stock company, and the land must be developed within four years, according to Oman Sultani Decree No. 76/2010 Promulgating Corporate Ownership of Land and Real Estates. The land can be sold as subdivided plots but only after development.
  • Non-Omani persons, juristic or individual, are prohibited from buying agricultural land in Oman. In practice, an exception is made for GCC nationals and companies owned by GCC nationals.
  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 29/2018 Promulgating the Law Prohibiting Ownership of Lands and Real Estate Properties by Non-Omanis in Certain Places prohibits non-Omanis' from purchasing lands and real estates in:
    • governorates of Dhofar, except Wilayat of Salalah, Musandam, Al Buraimi, Al Dahira, and Al Wusta,
    • the Wilayats of Liwa, Shinas and Masaira,
    • Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Jabal Shams and other strategic mountains determined by competent authorities, islands,
    • sites close to the palaces, security and military authorities determined by the competent authorities, and
    • ancient and heritage quarters determined by the competent authorities.
  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 12/2006 on the System of Real Estate Acquisition by Non-Omanis in Integrated Tourism Complexes which entitles foreigners to land and real estate in specific pockets allows the foreigner to purchase and own land which will eventually be developed and sold into built-up units. Though the built-up units can be bought by individuals or 100% foreigners owned companies, the land purchased under Oman Sultani Decree No. 12/2006 must be a company having at least 30% Omani shareholding.

Related Content

Legislation

  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 5/1980 on Regulating Use of Lands in the Sultanate
  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 2/1998 Promulgating the Land Register Law
  • Oman Ministerial Decision No. 43/1998 on the Regulations of Corporate Ownership and Registration of Real Estate
  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 12/2006 on the System of Real Estate Acquisition by Non-Omanis in Integrated Tourism Complexes
  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 21/2004 on Regulating the Ownership by GCC Nationals of a Property in the Member State
  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 76/2010 Promulgating Corporate Ownership of Land and Real Estates
  • Oman Ministerial Decision No. 5/2011 Regarding Commercial or Residential-Commercial or Industrial Lands Ownership
  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 29/2018 Promulgating the Law Prohibiting Ownership of Lands and Real Estate Properties by Non-Omanis in Certain Places
  • Oman Ministerial Decision No. 43/2012 Organizing Areal Extensions and Increases for GCC Citizens, Non-Omanis and Omani Juridical Persons
  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 29/2013 Omani Civil Transactions Law
  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 5/1981 on the Usufruct Law
  • Oman Sultani Decree No. 88/1982 on the Executive Regulations of Oman Sultani Decree No. 5/1981 on the Usufruct Law

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