Housing boom in Salalah to ease khareef demand

By: Kaushalendra Singh

SALALAH: With a boom in real estate sector in Salalah, the supply of houses this khareef season is likely to improve, as finishing work is in progress in not less than 500 housing projects. These projects are in the heart of Salalah, while many more are coming up in places like Saada, Sahalnoot, North and South Auqad and their adjoining areas. According to official figures, 2,695 housing permits for Salalah City were issued in 2014 out of which 20 per cent are achieving completion and most of them would be ready for occupation before khareef.

Thamer Obaid, Head of Engineering Department at Dhofar Municipality, gave an insight into the status of housing sector in Salalah and said, “Among the houses nearing completion are individual houses, villas only with ground floor and villas with single and two floors. Besides there are multi-storied houses and commercial buildings having four floors and above.

“As per a rough estimate, by khareef this year, 400 housing units having four floors would be ready for occupation in Salalah. Such houses are used mainly for commercial purposes as rented accommodations on annual, monthly, weekly or daily basis,” he said. This suggests an estimated number of 1,600 flats available for occupation before khareef 2015. Thamer said fast development was going on in Auqad area. “About 200 individual housing units have come up in this area during the last two years and many more applications are coming for permission, design approval and other necessary formalities,” he said.

Demand for houses in Salalah City has gone up due to movement of new employees for various ongoing projects. Besides ongoing work on new Salalah Airport and expansion of Port of Salalah, there are new companies coming up in Free Zone area and Raysut Industrial Estate. “Hence the demand for offices and residential houses is going up day-by-day in Salalah.

And there are many who like to live near their work places like Saada and Raysut areas.

Auqad suits to those who have their offices in the west, while Saada and Sahalnoot are ideal for people working in the eastern part of Salalah,” said Thamer. Besides them, newly-constructed commercial accommodations like economy hotels and furnished apartments are also ready to cater the visitors, especially those who come to Salalah during the khareef season. A new economy hotel has come up in New Salalah, while residential areas developed by Jenan Residency and Hamdan Plaza are going to be handy for khareef visitors this season.

Areas like Saada, New Salalah, Gharbiya, Al Wadi, Awqad and Raysut have seen tremendous growth in recent times. South Saada area, which was known earlier only for educational institutions like College of Applied Sciences and College of Higher Technology some years ago, has developed as self contained residential-cum business area with facilities like shopping complexes, branches of major banks and economy hotels.

Supply of houses in Saada and Sahalnoot is very in recent years. Most of the houses in these areas are new, as an estimated number of 7,000 houses are ready in these areas.

Similar is the case with other new areas where development can easily be seen in terms of new roads, food outlets, bank branches and shopping areas.

Real estate operators are also hopeful of more supply of rooms this year, as more and more building owners are contacting them to take their houses on annual basis. There are a few building owners who are planning to handle the tourists on their own based on the guidelines of local authorities.

SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER

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