You are on page 1of 7

OMAN'S MARKET OPENING PRODUCES Salam Yiti development includes both houses along the

BIG REAL ESTATE PROJECTS beach and 140 meters up into the hills.
Much of the country is still undeveloped. Until the 1960s,
Oman had only 10 kilometers, or 6 miles, of paved roads
and, under a conservative ruler, was one of the most
reclusive countries in the Middle East. Since 1970, under
By Lina Tornquist
Oman's current, more liberal-minded sultan, Qaboos ibn
○ Linkedin Said, development has been brisk.
○ Digg Planners, however, intend to keep Oman's distinctive
building style - a simple, almost modernist, look with
○ Facebook Arabic detailing like shuttered windows and pointed
○ Mixx arches.

○ MySpace Gerard Evenden, lead architect and senior partner at

Foster + Partners, is heading the design team for Al
○ Yahoo! Buzz Madina Al Zarqa and has been working directly with
Oman's heritage minister. The team includes a specialist
○ Permalink in Islamic art and it is using local stones, ceramics, colors
○ and patterns.

Oman, running low on oil, opened its real estate "We wanted to play around a little with the rules of
market to foreign ownership in 2006, part of a plan Islamic art, to create something which builds on Oman's
to diversify the economy and expand the country's terrific building heritage but translates it into a modern
housing stock. language," Evenden said.

The decision appears to have been a success, producing The city is being built along a strip of desert by the sea,
major projects like Al Madina Al Zarqa, or The Blue City, a about 90 kilometers west of Muscat, and everything from
200,000-resident city designed by Foster + Partners, the a university to fire stations will be built over the next 10
British architectural firm; Salam Yiti, a $1.7 billion to 15 years. It is, by far, the largest project in Oman,
development stretching from a marina to mountain which has a population of slightly more than 3.2 million.
villas; and The Wave, a 4,000-residence site being built Many smaller projects also are being planned or in
along a strip of beach in the capital, Muscat. construction; last year a local business magazine listed
Sales to both locals and foreigners have been brisk. 22. And there is demand for that construction, according
to Harry Goodson-Wickes, sales chief at Cluttons &
"We've been taken back by the interest so far," said Nick Partners Oman, a real estate agency in Muscat. In the
Smith, chief executive of The Wave, which has sold 700 capital, he said, rents have doubled, with Jones Lang
homes so far. "Our offerings are always oversubscribed. LaSalle figures showing a two-bedroom apartment
During our last sales release we put 70 homes on the renting for 350 to 450 reals a month.
market, 150 people queued outside overnight to buy. We
were sold out in an hour and a half." The government has capped rent increases and now is
said to be planning minimum lease periods of four years
The Wave does have an unusual selling point: beach for residential property and seven years for business
villas in a capital city. Many of the homes are on man- property in an attempt to control increases.
made islands - about 20 percent of the site, which totals
2.5 million square meters or 26.9 million square feet, is Oman's growing economy, including the expansion of
reclaimed land - giving the development the shape of a tourism, banking and ports, as well as the manufacturing
giant wave. sector, is creating strong demand for housing in larger
cities, real estate specialists say.
But the other developments also have their attractions,
according to Blair Hagkull, managing director for Middle At The Wave, about 50 percent of the sales were to
East and Africa at Jones Lang LaSalle real estate in Omanis, about 25 percent to expatriates living in Oman,
Dubai. and the rest to other foreigners, according to executives.

"Oman's emergence as a attractive housing market is Demand is also being fueled by population growth, which
new but it is catering to a distinct niche," Hagkull said, has risen sharply with a life expectancy now at 75 and
offering luxury and lifestyle options. "Oman offers a about a third of the population younger than 15.
strong point of difference and has shown itself able to Although the country has been playing catch-up during
attract a premium market." the last 40 years, Oman has a long history as trading
Prices in Oman are still lower than in many Western post and seafaring power. The country even had an
markets. Properties at The Wave, for example, sell for empire, with colonies including the Zanzibar islands,
about 250,950 Omani real, or $650,000, for a 307- which now are part of Tanzania, and Baluchistan, now
square-meter villa or 150,570 real for a 185-square- the southwestern portion of Pakistan.
meter townhouse, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.
Oman's property developers are leveraging the country's
natural variety, which is rare in the Middle East. There
are deserts, a coast lined with coral reefs and mountains
that, occasionally, are snow topped. So, for example, the
Oman also is becoming something of a model in city
planning, not least from an environmental standpoint. Its Last month, the Oman Daily Observer cited an industry
new developments all tout their green credentials, with executive who claimed that demand for cement grew by
wastewater and sewage treatment operations. At The between ten and 12 per cent in the first six months of
Wave, the recycled water will used on the development's 2009 due to the thriving construction sector.
designer golf course.
Ms. Al Alawi revealed that the government has awarded
The country has ambitions to expand tourism and, by a number of tenders for constructing houses to
extension, real estate demand among foreigners, but contractors. The official added that more housing loans
there is some hesitancy about copying the globalization, and assistance would be provided in the near future.
high-rise development and mass tourism that has taken
place in neighboring Dubai.
She revealed that more than 2.8 million Omani Rial
"In Dubai, you can feel a little blown off your feet in
(US$7.3 million) has already been allocated for 148
among all those tall towers," said Smith of The Wave.
"We're not building highways in the sky here. We're housing assistance cases in the first six months of 2009.
trying to build something on a human scale. The idea is
that you will get out of your car, and have a walk around
by the beach and enjoy yourself."

The Media Line/Muscat

Daily Newspaper published by Gulf Publishing & Printing Co. Doha, Qatar

Latest Update:
Homepage \ Gulf/Arab World: Tuesday8/12/2009December,
2009, 10:52 PM Doha Time

Omani Housing Project ‘World’s Best’

A new residential project in Oman has been voted Best
International Architecture at the CNBC International
Residential Property Awards.
The Wave in the Gulf Sultanate of Oman’s capital Muscat,
is the region’s first major integrated resort and
residential project with some 4,000 homes, a marina,
golf course, hotels and a mall.
“Tourism has been highlighted by the Government of
OMAN'S SOCIAL HOUSING PROJECTS 'ON Oman as a pillar of future growth and development,”
SCHEDULE' 17 Aug 2009 Robert O’Hanlon, Tourism, Hotel and Leisure partner at
Deloitte in the Middle East based in Oman, told The
Media Line. “It showcases the natural beauty of the
country and the hospitality of the Omani people. The
integrated tourism complexes (ITC’s) such as The Wave
are one of the tools for presenting Oman to discerning
global tourists.”
Currently about 900 homes have been completed and
work on the golf course, designed by Greg Norman, is
about to commence.
Opinions are divided regarding the construction of The
Wave. Fishermen in Oman are calling for the government
to limit real estate and road construction along the coast,
which is hindering access to their boats and forcing them
to relocate.
With fewer oil and natural gas resources than its Gulf
neighbours such as Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar,
Oman has worked on diversifying its economy towards
industry, real estate and tourism.
Despite being a member of the GCC, the Sultanate has
Government projects in Oman related to social housing are currently on
decided to abstain from two of the organization’s most
schedule, according to an official in the country.
prestigious projects - a common currency and regional
Ms. A'aisha bint Abdullah Al Alawi, Assistant Director power grid.
General for housing projects at Ministry of Housing,
Electricity & Water (MoHEW) asserted that work is
progressing according to plan, reports the Times of
She said the scheme has faced some problems in recent
months because of the increases in the cost of building
materials in the country.
Al Wusta Region
Data & Indicators of the Housing Units
The use of modern technology and new methodologies have been key distinguishing characteristics of the Oman 2003
General Census of Population, Housing and Establishments. While some of the methodologies employed were
improvements of processes used in the previous 1993 Census, others were simply innovative techniques never used
before in census taking.
This effective use of technology was the defining characteristics of the census, which played a crucial role in the
planning, organization and management of the various elements of the census. However, it must be mentioned here
that this paper’s emphasis on technology is in no way aimed at undermining the importance and significance of the
previous census. Those involved in the 1993 Census made the best possible use of available technology and expertise.
Lessons learned from the 1993 census enabled us to explore and embrace some of the modern methodologies used in
the latest census.

Administrative Divisions

• The Sultanate of Oman is divided into (8) administrative divisions of which (3) are called Governorates
(Governorates of Muscat - Governorates of Dhofar & Governorates of Musandam) and the other five (5) are
called Regions (Region of Al Batinah – Region of Ash Sharqiyah – Region of Ad Dakhliyah- Region of Adh
Dhahirah & Region of Al Wusta).
• Every administrative division is divided into sub-divisions, each called a (Wilayat), within which population
settlements (be it in the cities, towns or villages).
• The capital city of Muscat is one of the three Governorates mentioned above. Each of its Wilayat is sub-divided
into municipality block.

Basic Features of the Population Census

Individual Enumeration
This process involves the entry of data of each individual included in the census separately and independently from
other individual data. This is the most ideal method that permit the cross-classification of data on interrelated
characteristics of the population in tables, with each table highlighting more than one characteristic.

The objective here is to ensure census coverage of all individuals in a given area included in the count without deletion
or repetition.

Each person and every living quarter must enumerated as nearly as possible with reference to a well-defined point of
time and the collected data should refer to a well-defined reference period.
Simultaneity as at a specific point or over a specific period of time, is essential for ensuring an accurate count and for
obtaining comparable data on characteristics.

Defined Periodicity

The defined census periodicity denotes that the population censuses are conducted in a regular periodic manner so as
to ensure an intervening, defined intervals period between one census and the next. The intervals period usually
extends for ten years, whereas in some countries it can be five years.
Population and Housing Units Census
Population Census
The enumeration methodology used in Muscat Governorate is completely new, either in relation to the previous
Census or with regard to the enumeration process carried out in other regions of the Sultanate. In the Population and
Housing Census the data was collected and entered in a small computer system. This system was called by many
names, but we chose to call it a Hand Held Device. Each of these Handheld Devices used in the census of Muscat
Governorate was programmed by storing the contents of the census questionnaire so it appears sequentially on the
screen and according to a certain procedure. Procedures for instant verification of the data was also programmed into
the HDD, which was now equipped to activate an alarm if any data inconsistent with the format was entered into the
This approach to data collection eliminated, at least theoretically, the need for other traditional data processing steps,
such as auditing, coding, and data entry, as are necessary when paper questionnaire forms (hard copy) are used.

Download Center (Flash)

Download Section

Operating Census Program

Buildings and Housing Units Collecting Data

Households Collecting Data

Household Members Collecting Data

Adding Other Household Members, Disabilities and Deaths

Item Census

2003 1993

Housing Units :

Total Housing Units: 4,233 3,342

Total Occupied Housing Units: 3,125 2,713

1 1,340 404
Traditional Housing Units:

Percentage of Traditional Housing Units From Total Housing Units 31.7 % 12.1 %

Occupied Traditional Housing Units: 822 237

Percentage of Occupied Traditional Housing Units From Total Traditional Housing 61.3 % 58.7 %

Item Census

2003 1993

Percentage Distribution of Housing Units by Urban Status:

Urban 26.9 % ...

Rural 73.1 % ...

Percentage Distribution of Housing Units by Wilayat:

Hayma 12.0 % 12.2 %

Muhut 41.0 % 43.4 %

Ad Duqm 22.9 % 20.7 %

Al Jazer 24.1 % 23.7 %

Total 100.0 % 100.0 %

Total Housing Units 4,233 3,342

Item Census

2003 1993

Percentage Distribution of Total Housing Units by Type :

Villa 13.1 % 5.5 %

Apartment 3.8 % 0.3 %

Arabic House 12.8 % 3.5 %

Rural House 2.0 % 2.8 %

Other Types \ Not Stated 68.3 % 87.9 %

Total 100.0 % 100.0 %

Total Housing Units 4,233 3,342

Item Census

2003 1993

Percentage Distribution of Housing Units by Occupancy Status :

Occupied 73.8 % 81.2 %

2 1.7 % 3.4 %

Unoccupied 24.5 % 15.4 %

Total 100.0 % 100.0 %

Total Housing Units 4,233 3,342

Percentage Distribution of Unoccupied Housing Units by Type:

Villa 26.9 % ...

Apartment 6.5 % ...

Arabic House 12.2 % ...

Rural House 1.8 % ...

Other Types 52.6 % ...

Total 100.0 % ...

Total Unoccupied Housing Units 1,038 514

Item Census

2003 1993

Percentage Distribution of Unoccupied Housing Units

by Reason for Vacancy:

For Rent 10.8 % 9.9 %

For Sale 0.5 % 0.0 %

Seasonally Vacant 14.4 % 42.8 %

Abandoned 41.1 % 28.0 %

Under Construction 19.1 % 1.4 %

Other \ Not Stated 14.1 % 17.9 %

Total 100.0 % 100.0 %

Total Unoccupied Housing Units 1,038 514

Item Census

2003 1993
Percentage Distribution of Occupied Traditional
Housing Units by Source of Lighting:

Public Network 87.5 % 22.4 %

Private Generator 6.1 % 29.9 %

Kerosene 1.7 % 42.2 %

Other \ Not Stated 4.7 % 5.5 %

Total 100.0 % 100.0 %

Total Occupied Traditional Housing Units 822 237

Percentage Distribution of Occupied Traditional Housing Units

by Availability and Type of Facilities:
Equipped 86.9 % 54.0 %
Unequipped 8.6 % 36.3 %
None \ Not Stated 4.5 % 9.7 %

Equipped 89.9 % 60.3 %
Unequipped 5.1 % 17.3 %
None \ Not Stated 5.0 % 22.4 %

Equipped 67.5 % 54.9 %
Unequipped 9.5 % 17.3 %
None \ Not Stated 23.0 % 27.8 %

Item Census
2003 1993

Percentage Distribution of Occupied Traditional Housing Units by Type of

Cooking Fuel:

Gas 95.7 % 92.8 %

Electricity 0.0 % 0.0 %

Kerosene 0.1 % 0.9 %

Wood 0.0 % 2.5 %

Not Available \ Not Stated 4.2 % 3.8 %

Total 100.0 % 100.0 %

Total Occupied Traditional Housing Units 822 237

Percentage of Occupied Housing Units by No. of Households :

Housing Units Occupied by a Single Household 99.1 % ...

Housing Units Occupied by Two Households 0.8 % ...

Housing Units Occupied by Three or More Households 0.1 % ...

Total 100.0 % ...

Total Occupied Housing Units 3,125 2,713

Percentage Distribution of Occupied Traditional Housing Units by Main Source of Water Supply (2003) :

For Households Uses

Main Source of Water Supply For Drinking (%)

Public Piped 1.46 2.80

Private Piped 0.61 1.70

Public Water Point 74.33 76.89

Private Well 0.00 0.0

Well Outside the Living Quarter 0.97 15.21

Mineral Water 19.34 -

Other Sources \ Not Stated 3.29 3.40

Total 100.00 100.00

Total Occupied Traditional Housing Units 822 822