Muscat: UAE nationals were the biggest beneficiaries of property deeds handed out by Oman’s Ministry of Housing during 2012, underscoring the growing attraction of Omani real estate for Emiratis.
Of 3,376 property deeds distributed among GCC nationals last year, 1,694 titles — representing more than half of total — went to Emirati buyers. Kuwaitis came a close second with 1,286 land titles, followed by Qataris with 195 deeds. Bahrainis picked up 125 titles while Saudis collected a mere 76.
According to statistics released by the Housing Ministry on Wednesday, a third of all the properties bought by GCC nationals were concentrated in the Batinah North Governorate, one of the fastest growing regions of the country which also hosts the Sohar Industrial Port and Free Zone.
Real estate in Dhofar Governorate, with its unique summertime monsoon weather, was the next most attractive region of Oman for property deals accounting for 12 per cent of the total last year.
While Kuwaiti buyers demonstrated a strong preference for real estate in the Batinah North and South, as well as Dhofar governorates of Oman, Emiratis favoured property primarily in Batinah North, Musandam, Dhahirah and Buraimi governorates.
GCC citizens are allowed to purchase property in member states without restrictions, while expatriates can only buy in freehold areas in states that have such provisions. The GCC comprises of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE.