MARCH 13, 2023

Oman Design and Build Week hosts 3-Day conference; receives overwhelming participation

13 March 2023, Muscat: Globally, real estate development has been identified as a crucial driver of economic growth. With the Sultanate of Oman exerting increased focus on diversifying its revenue channels, the attention has also been directed to stimulating the promising real estate market. Given the scenario, the ongoing Oman Design and Build Week (ODBW), which commenced on 13 March and will go on until 15 March 2023 at the Oman Convention and Exhibition Center, has positioned itself as a unique platform to trigger further development in the sector by showcasing the various lucrative investment opportunities available in the local market, providing a bridge between buyers and sellers, and highlighting the latest innovations in the industry. An important part of ODBW, which has garnered the attention of individuals and corporate companies from a cross-section of society, is the 3-day CPD-accredited ODBW conference. It is geared at sharing valuable insights into the working of the real estate market, the government endeavours to strengthen the regulatory environment andaccelerate foreign direct investment, and the nation’s keen focus on establishing itself as a new destination for sustainable cities.

In the same context, it is also important to note that the data issued by the National Center for Statistics and Information (NCSI) recorded the value of real estate trading in Oman until the end of December 2022 atOMR 2,706,100,000, which is a steady increase of six per cent compared to the same period in 2021 when the value stood at OMR 2,552,500,000.

Commenting on the conference, Ashley Roberts, Managing Director, CONNECT said, “The ODWWConference has come at a time when the local real estate industry is seeing a significant boom. By being a platform that facilitates high-level discussions, the conference seeks to bring about qualitative change by boosting collaboration between key stakeholders in the industry. At the same time, it is a unique opportunity for the attendees to learn about emerging trends and cutting-edge technologies that can potentially impact how the market functions. Such conferences go beyond knowledge sharing – it gives an untarnished and unbiased outlook of where the industry stands, the challenges and opportunities that exist in the market, and the efforts that need to be taken to attain the overarching vision.”

Following an inspirational speech by Sadiq Jafaar Sulaiman, the Chairman of Oman Real Estate Association, the official inauguration of Oman Design and Build Week and Oman Real Estate Conference 2023 took place. On the sidelines, the Greater Muscat Development Plan was also unveiled. HE Dr Khalfan Bin Said al Shuaili, the Minister of Housing and Urban Planning delivered a welcome speech that preceded a stellar video demonstration of the future cities of Oman.

The conference commenced with an overview of the potential the real estate market holds in the years to come before taking a deeper dive into the broad outlook for the sector.With the residential real estate market in Oman projected to develop at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 13 per cent from 2022 to 2027, the Omani government is taking concerted efforts to make housing more affordable and accessible.This has, in turn, led to greater levels of liquidity in the local market.Under the advocacy of ‘Housing for All

Citizens’, the developments have taken a holistic stance and extend beyond the capital city of Muscat. After the Integrated Housing Development Project in Barka, there are new projects scheduled in the governates of Musandam, Dhofar, South Al Sharqiyah, North Al Sharqiyah, North Al Batinah, and South Al Batinah. With such investments in the sector, the panel discussion also underscored the quintessential role that the real estate industry plays in developing the governorates as a whole as the benefits filter to other areas such as contracting, marketing, facility maintenance and management.

Keeping pace with the evolving real estate ecosystem, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning has also embraced digitalisation to make dealing in the real estate market more convenient, transparent, and quick. At the same time, the Capital Market Authority is also exploring the possibility of including real estate tokenisation in its virtual asset regulatory framework.An interesting topic of debate at the panel discussions, therefore, was digital transformation and the metaverse. With global interest now steering towards the metaverse and real estate parcelsavailable in the virtual environment, the Sultanate has put its digitalisation agenda on overdrive. Strategic investments in digitalisation that incorporate artificial intelligence and data science have gone from being a business tool to an important aspect of how businessesare conducted.A life-like virtual representation of the Greater Muscat project as well as the upcoming Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITCs) are an example of how digitalisation has come into play.

With ITCs being another highlight of the agenda, the panellists appreciated how the Sultanate has maintained the right supply to match demand and made sure that each project is built with industry best practices in mind. With as many as 21 ITC projects in the Sultanate spread across various governates, the government seeks to attract investments of about OMR3 billion between 2021 and 2023. The ITCs include premium development projects as well as affordable home solutions for citizens, residents, and foreign investors.

The panellists also acknowledged another critical parameter of real estate – finance. Apart from being a stable economy, the Sultanate has also witnessed key legislative reforms and the introduction of stringent policies to promote good governance, and this applies to the real estate sector too. The availability of Escrow accounts for projects has given a huge boost to investor confidence and also ensured that developer interests are protected. Prominent banks have gone the extra mile to make the process of opening escrow accounts easier. The availability of other complementary services like accurate real estate valuation has also been a vital contributor to bolsteringtrust in the sector.The panel discussions will conclude with a special session on governance led by the Owners’ Associations.

The comprehensive agenda of the ODBW conference offers attendees a two-fold benefit as the talks not only highlight critical aspects of the real estate sector and provide meaningful knowledge but also allows participants to engage one-on-one with key industry experts.

Entry to the exhibition and conference is free of charge. To know more, visit