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 the Sultanate of Oman unless an exemption is granted by way of a special Royal Decree.
  • This Practice Note will discuss what can be done on the lands owned 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 buyer 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. The state has registered the state-owned 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, used and developed.
  • Oman Ministerial Decision No. 4/2008 prohibits the use of government land allocated for a specific purpose and public utilities to be put for uses other than what is meant for.
  • 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.
  • Agricultural lands cannot be converted to commercial, industrial, or residential lands. Lands with waterways cannot be held by anyone other than Omani nationals. Land with waterways cannot be constructed.
  • The Ministry of Housing regulates land use, planning and developments in accordance with Oman Decision No. 53 /2013 on the Promulgation of the Regulation Governing Insurance Brokers' Activities. There are minimum area requirements for residential land, and how plot extensions can be done.
  • The Ministry occasionally converts residential lands into commercial land based on satisfying certain requirements, and certain buildings can be for mixed use commercial and residential areas.
  • Land adjoining the coastal areas are regulated and monitored by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. There are no new permissions recently for private beaches.

Related Content

Legislation

  • Oman Decision No. 53/2013 on the Promulgation of the Regulation Governing Insurance Brokers' Activities
  • 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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