Build or sell: Owners of vacant plots warned

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Updated 29 April 2013

Build or sell: Owners of vacant plots warned

The owners of vacant plots inside cities might lose their properties if they don’t build on them soon.
Speaking on a TV talk-show yesterday, Minister of Housing Shuwaish Al-Dhuwaihi said that his ministry’s strategy regarding the vacant plots owners is “Build or sell.”
He explained that owners are warned that the country will expropriate their properties if they don’t develop these empty spaces in the next few years.
He said that 70 percent of the lands in the cities are vacant, which “threatens the social stability.”
“The expropriation of properties for the public interest is done around the world. We might do it in a limited way,” he said, adding that his ministry has no intention to buy land to build housing units,” he said.
Investing in vacant plots (selling and buying) is not productive and we must build on them, he said.
More lands are going to be handed to the ministry soon. “We are coordinating with military sectors to take their lands which they don’t need,” he added.
The other option for the ministry is to impose fees on the vacant plots if the owners insist on keeping them undeveloped.
“This is just a means and not a goal in order to provide more lands for housing. We’ll make sure that such a step doesn’t add burden to the citizens,” he said.
He repeatedly mentioned in the show that every deserving citizen will have a land and a loan to build on it.
“The measure that indicates a citizen is deserving or not is whether he owns a house now or not. We will finish the merit mechanism in less than one year. Then we will immediately start distributing lands,” he said.
A citizen will have two options whether receive a loan or a housing unit built by the ministry.
He said that the loan is a quick solution but the housing unit is guaranteed in terms of the building quality.


Saudi Arabia announces 36 more deaths from COVID-19

Updated 2 min 16 sec ago

Saudi Arabia announces 36 more deaths from COVID-19

LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced 36 more deaths from COVID-19 and 1,389 new cases of the disease on Wednesday.
Of the new cases, 109 were recorded in the capital Riyadh, 106 in Makkah, 53 in Jazan and 49 in Jeddah.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 245,314 after 1,626 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 3,020 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.