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.


Saudi minister Al-Falih says Aramco IPO likely in 2019

Updated 25 May 2018
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Saudi minister Al-Falih says Aramco IPO likely in 2019

  • Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih: “We are ready, the company (Saudi Aramco) essentially has ticked all the boxes. We’re simply waiting for a market readiness for the IPO.”
  • Khalid Al-Falih: “Most likely it will be in 2019 but we will not know until the announcement has been made. All I could say is stay tuned.”

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is most likely to hold the initial public offering (IPO) of oil giant Aramco in 2019, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Friday, confirming a delay from the initial plan to list the company this year.

“The timing I think will depend on the readiness of the market, rather than the readiness of the company or the readiness of Saudi Arabia,” Khalid Al-Falih, who’s also the company’s chairman, said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia on Friday.

“We are ready, the company essentially has ticked all the boxes,” he said. “We’re simply waiting for a market readiness for the IPO.”

For almost two years, Saudi officials said the IPO was “on track, on time” for the second half of 2018. But for the first time in March they suggested it could be delayed until 2019.

“Most likely it will be in 2019 but we will not know until the announcement has been made,” Al-Falih said. “All I could say is stay tuned.”

The Aramco IPO would be a once-in-a-generation event for financial markets. Saudi officials said they hope to raise a record $100 billion by selling a 5 percent stake, valuing the company at more than $2 trillion and dwarfing the $25 billion raised by Chinese retailer Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in 2014.