At the Oman Affordable Housing Development Conference held at the Grand Hyatt in Muscat on April 16 it was announced that Oman’s government is planning on setting aside RO 80 million ($208 million) for social housing projects.
From the beginning of 2011 until March, 2012 upwards of 3,174 housing allocations were provided to those in need, at a cost to the government of RO 60 million, ($156 million.) About 400 soft and no-interest loans were also distributed valued at about RO 7 million ($18.2 million.)
The conference was organized by Al Alamia Conference and Exhibitions Company, the International Centre for Quality and Productivity in the Middle East in collaboration with the Housing Ministry.
The focus of the conference was to explore ways to develop the housing sector affordably, not just in Oman but in the Middle East more generally. Also discussed were ways to attract new investors, especially from the private sector, the steps needed from the point of view of government regulations to develop successful projects, new designs and models of development, new construction technologies and how to stay within budgets for projects, especially when developing affordable housing for the general public.
The conference was held under the auspices of Saif bin Amer al Shaqsi, the Under-Secretary of the Housing Ministry.