Oman


Muscat Municipality plans separate zone for expatriate bachelors in Oman


As per the new laws for family accommodation, landowners must make it clear in their rental contract whether they are renting out their properties to families or bachelors. – Jun Estrada/Times of Oman

Muscat: To move out expatriate bachelors from residential areas and prevent them from sharing family accommodation, the Muscat Municipality has planned residential complexes for expatriate bachelors in Mabela, Bausher and Amerat.

Speaking to Al Shabiba, Malik bin Hilal Al Yahmdi, head of the Public Affairs Committee at the Municipal Council of Muscat, said, "The Muscat Municipality is currently working on a plan for the expatriate bachelors' township following which they will call for a tender."

It has been learnt that the Ministry of Housing has allocated three plots measuring 10,000 square metres to build residential buildings for expatriate bachelors.

He added that the Municipal Council, in cooperation with the concerned authorities, has been studying the issue of expatriate bachelor accommodation to come up with an amicable solution.

Heeding the request of families, the Muscat Municipality, in coordination with the other authorities, has intensified its checks to monitor the presence of bachelors living in residential neighbourhoods.

In February, the Muscat Municipality officials had served notices to some building owners for permitting bachelors to stay in their apartments on a sharing basis.

In a move to regulate tenancy rules, the Muscat Municipality last week issued a circular asking its officials not to approve any contract that fails to specify the nature of the rental agreement.

As per the new laws, landowners must make it clear in their rental contract whether they are renting out their properties to families or to bachelors.

Regulations
"Families who sub-let apartments will be violating regulations," authorities said.

The move is seen as an attempt to keep a check on landlords who allow bachelors to share properties. "Owners leasing rooms to bachelors in areas allocated for families will be penalised," an official has clarified.

Meanwhile, the Municipal Council has clarified that "only certain categories of bachelor expatriates" would come within the remit of the new law.

Highly educated
"Doctors, engineers and other highly educated and professional expatriates living without families can continue to rent flats or villas," Salim Al Ghammari, member, Municipal Council clarified to the Times of Oman.

"The effort by the authorities to streamline expatriate bachelor accommodation is a welcome move. It is important to move them to a different part of the town where they can live with other fellow bachelors. At times, these bachelors are not sensitised and have different lifestyles. Security issues also might arise if we have them (living among us)," said Fawaz Al Farsi, a resident of Ghubra.

To gwt in touch with the reporters: fahadnews@timesofoman.com

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