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Law on Real Estate Ownership and Investment by Non-Saudis Amended to Boost Competitiveness

Law on Real Estate Ownership and Investment by Non-Saudis Amended to Boost Competitiveness

Tuesday, 19 April, 2022 - 07:15
Saudi Arabia amends law to enable non-Saudis own and invest in real estate (Asharq Al-Awsat)

Saudi Arabia amended the Law on Real Estate Ownership and Investment by non-Saudis to increase and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the procedures and controls related to the ownership or use of real estate by foreigners, who enjoy natural and legal capacity in cities and economic zones in the Kingdom targeted for development, including the cities of Makkah and Madinah.

The proposed amendment enhances the competitiveness and marketing capacity of real estate in the Kingdom and stimulates growth in other economic sectors.

Asharq Al-Awsat reviewed a copy of the new law which stated that the prime minister would issue the executive regulations of the amended law.

A provision in the amended law permits international and regional organizations to own their official headquarters, which is within the limits of the agreements governing them.

The ownerships would be granted on obtaining a license from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as specified in the amended law.

The amended law stipulates that it is not permissible, by any means other than inheritance, to acquire the right to own, use or have an easement over real estate located within the Two Holy Mosques for persons prohibited from entering there.

Notary publics or any competent authority are prohibited from documenting any behavior that does not comply with the provisions of the law, provided that the new law replaces the system of non-Saudi ownership of the real estate in the Kingdom issued by Royal Decree (M/22).

Last year, the Ministry of Investment called on the public to review the real estate ownership law through the Istitlaa platform to regulate and protect real estate ownership rights and set general principles for the protection and regulation of real estate in the Kingdom.

The draft law identified eight real estate transactions: barter sale, lending, leasing, mortgage, endowment, gift, and reconciliation.

The draft system sets eight reasons for a natural or legal person to own real estate, indicating that real estate or unit ownership is transferred for one of these reasons, and the transfer is invalid until after it is documented in the real estate registry, following the provisions of its regulations.

The Ministry of Investment recently confirmed an increase in the economic growth, noting that real GDP grew by seven percent during Q3 and 6.7 percent in Q4 in 2021, driven by the change in the oil and non-oil sector, recording a growth of 10.9 percent and 5.1 percent, respectively.

Foreign projects achieved record numbers, bringing the number of licenses for new projects to 3,386 permits, increasing 347.9 percent compared to the second half of 2020.

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