Given the right focus, real estate in Oman has a positive near & mid future. Experts at seminar concur
 

Muscat: The recently-concluded seminar on ‘Global crisis and its impact on the real estate sector,’ organized by Iskan Oman Investment Company and supported by Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, brought together many experts from the GCC and other parts of the world to shed new light on what is perhaps the most complex and destabilizing crisis the world has seen in generations, and its adverse impact on the real estate sector in the country.

According to Dr Manoj Pant, Professor, Centre for International Trade & Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, fiscal measures would be more important than monetary measures. “Governments across the globe need to propel demand by increasing investments substantially, be it in infrastructure, healthcare or a host of other areas, that can lead to demand,” he said.

According to him, the United States had a huge share in the global demand of almost 30 per cent, and when demand there contracted, many countries saw a downturn. Demographics would remain key criteria for demand generations in the future.

Paul Arnold, Director, Business Advisory Solutions – Real Estate, Hospitality & Leisure, Ernst & Young, said that Oman has opportunities, but one has to look at the right ones.

According to Arnold, the luxury segment maybe not be a right opportunity for Oman during the current situation. He said “We need to look at affordability and value. We need to look at affordable housing - that is where the demand is and that is where there is also a shortage of supply”.

K Gopakumar, General Manager, Wholesale Banking, BankMuscat said that there were several positives for the real estate sector. “The population is growing significantly and the per capita income is also going up”.

In an earlier statement, the OCCI Chairman,H.E. Khalil Bin Abdullah Al Khonji , had said the Omani real Estate sector is well protected from the ill effect of the global financial crisis compared to the other markets in the region, and there has been no major adverse impact on the industry so far. He had added that the impact has been less because of the very strong regulations in place in Oman.

Mansoor Jamal Malik, Managing Partner, Al Busaidy Mansoor Jamal & Co, spoke on the regulatory framework in Oman for real estate. According to him, Oman offered both transparency and security. The laws which may undergo revision and/or reenactment may, inter alia, include The Law of the Lands (Royal Decree 2/98), Government Lands Entitlement Regulations, Land Usufruct Law (Royal Decree 5/81), 1981, Apartments and Floors Ownership Regulations, Real Estate Sector Brokerage Law, Laws and decisions concerning granting lands and social housing and soft loans to low income citizens of Oman. He also mooted the possibility of a review of policy pertaining to ownership of property in Integrated Tourism Complex, and key legislations in other sectors that may have an impact on development of real estate.

The event was conducted under the banner of Oman Investment Forum; Iskan Oman plans to host events in future addressing vital issues that concern the Oman economy, the regional landscape and the personal holdings of individual investors.

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Seminar on ‘Global Crisis and its impact on Real Estate in Oman’

The seminar on “Global Crisis and its impact on Real Estate in Oman” was held on February 28th at the Grand Hyatt, Muscat.

H.E. Khalil Abdullah Mohammed Al Khonji, Chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce & Industry was the Chief Guest, and Mr. Adil Mohammed Al-Bader. Chairman of Iskan Oman, the Guest of Honor.

In his welcome address, Dr. Rashid Ali Al-Balushi, Managing Director of Iskan Oman Investment Company, said “This seminar is designed to bring together some of the leading economists and industry experts, to inform and educate the Omani society about the challenges facing the real estate sector, analyze the reasons, and provide guidance and recommendations”.

In his introductory speech to the seminar, the Iskan Oman Chairman said the forum was an important and timely initiative by the Company to bring together Corporate Oman to understand the crisis and its impact.

The first plenary session was addressed by Dr. Manoj Pant, Professor, Center for International Trade and Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. In his presentation, Dr Pant outlined the meaning and types of financial crises, causes of the current financial crisis, impact of the financial crisis and the action plan, and regulatory responses to the financial crisis.

He summed up his presentation with a review of the impact of the financial crisis on the GCC & Oman economies, and the net take-away from the crisis.

Mr Mohd Dahmash, Partner & Middle East Leader of Ernst and Young’s Real Estate Transaction and Advisory Services Group in the Middle East, made a detailed presentation on the Real Estate Industry.

Starting with an macroeconomic overview and stocktaking of the current scenario, his presentation covered the impact of the financial crisis on the real estate industry in GCC & Oman, including an outline of key challenges faced due the financial crisis, specifically the challenges in the real estate market in Oman. He addressed issues relating to sources of consumer finance, and summed up with his views on the future perspective of the real estate market in Oman.

The session on commercial banks’ responses to the financial crisis, and their view on real estate market in Oman, was addressed by Mr. K. Gopakumar, General Manager,Wholesale Banking, Bank Muscat (SAOG), Oman. He dwelt on the impact of the financial crisis on the banking industry in Oman, and the challenges in the funding of real estate projects.

Taking the audience through a statistical abstract on the history and number of commercial banks, and their market capitalization, he highlighted aspects relating to the source of income for commercial banks in Oman in particular, their lending policies and practices before and after the crisis, and the impact of the crisis on commercial banks.

Mr Gopakumar’s concluding remarks dwelt on ways for commercial banks to reduce risk exposure, in the light of their responsibility toward business and the community.

Mr. Mansoor Jamal Malik, Managing Partner, Al Busiady Mansoor Jamal & Co., Oman, who spoke next, focused on the Regulatory framework in Oman for real estate, and the Oman Regulatory system response to the financial crisis.

He also spoke of the need for regulation of mortgage finance companies, the Islamic Finance concept of lease to own, and real estate laws in Oman governing companies in the business of apartment selling.

A panel discussion followed, with Mr. Rajeev Singh, Partner, Ernst & Young Muscat, as the moderator. Mr. Bruce Palmer, Managing Partner, Curtis Oman, Mr. Lo’ai Bataineh, Head of Investment Management at Oman Arab Bank, and Mr. Saleh Al Habsi, Director, Ministry of Defense Pension Fund, participated.

The seminar officially concluded with a summary of the proceedings of the day by Dr. Rashid Ali Al-Balushi, Managing Director of Iskan Oman Investment Company, and a vote of thanks to the participants and guests. The networking session provided delegates to have personal discussions with the speakers and panel members, and senior officials from the Oman Chamber of Commerce & Iskan Oman.

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Given the right focus, real estate in Oman has a positive near & mid future, concur experts

Muscat: The recently-concluded seminar on ‘Global crisis and its impact on the real estate sector,’ organized by Iskan Oman Investment Company and supported by Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, brought together many experts from the GCC and other parts of the world to shed new light on what is perhaps the most complex and destabilizing crisis the world has seen in generations, and its adverse impact on the real estate sector in the country.

According to Dr Manoj Pant, Professor, Centre for International Trade & Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, fiscal measures would be more important than monetary measures. “Governments across the globe need to propel demand by increasing investments substantially, be it in infrastructure, healthcare or a host of other areas, that can lead to demand,” he said.

According to him, the United States had a huge share in the global demand of almost 30 per cent, and when demand there contracted, many countries saw a downturn. Demographics would remain key criteria for demand generations in the future.

Paul Arnold, Director, Business Advisory Solutions – Real Estate, Hospitality & Leisure, Ernst & Young, said that Oman has opportunities, but one has to look at the right ones.

According to Arnold, the luxury segment maybe not be a right opportunity for Oman during the current situation. He said “We need to look at affordability and value. We need to look at affordable housing - that is where the demand is and that is where there is also a shortage of supply”.

K Gopakumar, General Manager, Wholesale Banking, BankMuscat said that there were several positives for the real estate sector. “The population is growing significantly and the per capita income is also going up”.

In an earlier statement, the OCCI Chairman,H.E. Khalil Bin Abdullah Al Khonji , had said the Omani real Estate sector is well protected from the ill effect of the global financial crisis compared to the other markets in the region, and there has been no major adverse impact on the industry so far. He had added that the impact has been less because of the very strong regulations in place in Oman.

Mansoor Jamal Malik, Managing Partner, Al Busaidy Mansoor Jamal & Co, spoke on the regulatory framework in Oman for real estate. According to him, Oman offered both transparency and security. The laws which may undergo revision and/or reenactment may, inter alia, include The Law of the Lands (Royal Decree 2/98), Government Lands Entitlement Regulations, Land Usufruct Law (Royal Decree 5/81), 1981, Apartments and Floors Ownership Regulations, Real Estate Sector Brokerage Law, Laws and decisions concerning granting lands and social housing and soft loans to low income citizens of Oman. He also mooted the possibility of a review of policy pertaining to ownership of property in Integrated Tourism Complex, and key legislations in other sectors that may have an impact on development of real estate.

The event was conducted under the banner of Oman Investment Forum; Iskan Oman plans to host events in future addressing vital issues that concern the Oman economy, the regional landscape and the personal holdings of individual investors.

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Azzan Bin Qais Private School – cultivating a healthy mind in a healthy body

Muscat: There is a saying in Latin, “mens sana in corpore sano” meaning “a healthy mind in a healthy body.”

Supported by The Al Omania Education Services Company LLC (ISKAN Knowledge), Azzan Bin Qais Private School (ABQ) is truly an example of education with a difference. The management’s ethos has always been to nurture a caring environment that fosters educational excellence in every student, which enhances their physical, social and cultural awareness, providing them ample space to bloom to their maximum potential.

ABQ has two decades of track record in providing quality education, ensured by its high quality international faculty which gives individualized attention to every student, right from the KG stage to Grade 12.

Every student is given unparalleled personal attention by each of the international faculty members who are talented and experienced persons drawn from the UK, USA, Europe, Asia and Oman.

Co-curricular activities focus on personality development, moral strength and confidence building in each student. Mountain trekking, rock climbing, international and regional student exchange programs and field trips contribute much to the personal development of the students.

State-of-art facilities include an Olympic size swimming pool, additional individual science labs and additional classrooms, so that the student grows up in an atmosphere of excellence.

Presently, ABQ offers 3 academic streams. The international curriculum for IGCSE exams in grade 10, and A level in grade 12 leads to International Secondary Diplomas. A bi-lingual stream leading to the MOE’s General Certificate in grade 12 includes Maths & Science being taught in English. The mono lingual stream based on the MOE’s Arabic syllabus includes Advanced English Language.

ISKAN Knowledge has a vision for ABQ - to achieve a place of pride as a hallmark of excellence in education in the Sultanate of Oman.

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