Oman’s struggling rental market likely to fall further with new expat visa restrictions: Reports

A view of a port in Muscat, Oman. (Shutterstock)
Updated 31 January 2018
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Oman’s struggling rental market likely to fall further with new expat visa restrictions: Reports

DUBAI: Rents in Oman are expected to fall again in 2018, according to property experts, following the announcement of new visa rules that ban expat workers from specific professions, coupled with an oversupply of properties, national daily Times of Oman reported.
“There is an effect due to the new expat laws. With fewer expats coming, there will be fewer people renting houses, so the market will go down this year. I think the only way is to allow more freedom for expats,”Ammar Al-Safar, rental in-charge at the Al Qandeel Real Estate told the paper.
“Once they come in, they have to rent a house, buy a car, bring their family and send their children to school. All of this is a boost to the economy and without it, the real estate sector will go down,” Al-Safar added.
International real estate companies reported that the market in Oman was struggling, with UK-based Cluttons showing that rents in the country hit an all-time low in 2017 — and prices are expected to fall further due to the new expat restriction laws.
The Cluttons report shows that the market fell by 25 percent on average in 2017, but in some parts of the region around the capital, Muscat dropping more that 50 percent.


US-China trade deal hopes grow as oil prices decline

Updated 19 June 2019
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US-China trade deal hopes grow as oil prices decline

  • Data suggested a smaller-than-expected fall in American crude inventories
  • Preparations underway for Donald Trump to meet Xi Jinping next week at the G20 summit in Osaka

LONDON: Oil prices declined on Wednesday as data suggested a smaller-than-expected fall in American crude inventories, as hopes for a US-China trade deal continue to grow.
Brent crude futures were down 51 cents at $61.72 a barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 25 cents to $53.65 a barrel. On Tuesday, it had recorded its biggest daily rise since early January.
After weeks of swelling, US crude stocks fell by 812,000 barrels last week to 482 million, the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday, a smaller fall than the 1.1-million-barrel drop analysts had expected.
Official estimates on US crude stockpiles from the US government’s Energy Information Administration are due during afternoon trading.
US President Donald Trump offered some support, saying preparations were underway for him to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping next week at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, amid hopes a trade deal could be thrashed out between the two powers. Trump has repeatedly threatened China with tariffs since winning office in 2016.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi also offered a boost, saying on Tuesday that he would ease policy again if inflation failed to accelerate.
Tensions remain high in the Middle East after last week’s tanker attacks. Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the US have mounted, with Washington blaming Tehran, which has denied any role.
Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Iran having a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would approve the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies.
On Wednesday, oil markets shrugged off a rocket attack on a site in southern Iraq used by foreign oil companies.
“It is interesting to note that the crude oil futures market could not rally on hawks planting bombs in the Strait of Hormuz but could rally on doves planting quantitative easing,” Petromatrix’s Olivier Jakob said in a note.
“This is an oil market that doesn’t know how to react when an oil tanker blows up but knows how to react when the head of a central bank makes some noise.”
Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have agreed to meet on July 1, followed by a meeting with non-OPEC allies on July 2, after weeks of wrangling over dates.
OPEC and its allies will discuss whether to extend a deal on cutting 1.2 million barrels per day of production that runs out this month.