HE the Minister of Municipality Dr Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Subaie has stressed that the real estate sector's future in Qatar is promising, thanks to several factors, including the high rate of economic growth, and the security enjoyed by the country, as it ranks first in the list of the safest countries for the fifth year in a row.
Qatar also has an infrastructure that is among the best in the world, including highways, an integrated transport network, and an airport at the highest levels, HE Dr al-Subaie added.
During the ministerial session held Sunday under the theme 'Regulations and Legislation for an Optimal Quality of Life and a Sustainable Real Estate Industry,' as part of the events of the First Qatar Real Estate Forum, he said that Qatar's promising future in the real estate sector comes from its possession of a highly advanced health sector, and an educational sector that competes with the largest educational systems around the globe.
Qatar also has freehold areas and residential, administrative and commercial units that constitute 25% of the real estate stock, with its possession of one of the most flexible and adaptive sovereign funds, in addition to its strong financial institutions and the foundations of a work environment that encourages the growth of business, as well as a steady rise in the volume of domestic and foreign investment, while being the first in the Eastern Mediterranean Region to have all its municipalities obtain the title of 'Healthy City' from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
HE the Minister noted that Qatar aims to reach the real estate trading volume to QR100bn, especially since real estate trading is multiplying at an accelerated rate, pointing out that there are many indicators in favour of this sector, including promoting available investment opportunities, facilitating the work of investors, and providing any services that help develop this sector, which is linked to many other sectors.
He expressed his hope that the Public Authority for Regulating the Real Estate Sector would play its role in developing this significant sector in the country.
With regard to the future of the Gulf real estate sector, HE Dr al-Subaie affirmed that it also has a promising future with its geographical diversity, large real estate production and easy access to it, in addition to the stability and security enjoyed by the GCC countries, pointing out that there are other motivating factors, including tourism plans, which are a tributary to real estate development.
The region's rich heritage, authentic traditions and ancient history make it one of the most important tourist areas around the globe, whether in terms of religious, cultural or environmental tourism — all of which constitute an incentive for the real estate sector as well as innovation in products, financing methods and building sustainability, he said, adding that real estate has always been a safe haven against inflation, market fluctuations and global financial crises.
For his part, Kuwait's Minister of Electricity, Water and Renewable Energy and Minister of State for Housing Mutlaq Naief Omar Abu Raqaba al-Otaibi highlighted the diversity of services provided to the real estate sector in his country, pointing out the history of real estate development since the 1960s and the challenges faced by the state to meet the needs of citizens.
He explained that people's needs in the past were limited to housing, but the matter has developed greatly and the need has become urgent for residential, administrative, commercial and investment areas, pointing out the role of the state in providing customs, infrastructure, financial, security and legislative facilities to regulate this sector.
He also addressed the impact of renewable energy on urban development and the use of modern technology, as well as the development of investment in renewable energy stations, expressing his optimism about the future of the real estate sector, not only in Kuwait, but in all GCC countries, thanks to the stability the region enjoys and the enactment of legislation and laws that give a safe future outlook for this vital and important sector.
Omani Undersecretary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning Eng. Hamad bin Ali bin Sulaiman al-Nazwani pointed out governmental housing plans and strategies and their impact on the growth of the real estate sector, stressing the importance of adopting an attractive vision for foreign investments that keeps pace with urban development and shaping the real estate structure in line with transparency, governance and contribution to the gross domestic product.
Eng. al-Nazwani presented the stages of Oman's real estate strategy 2040 and the major steps it took in implementing it and adopting many legislations and laws that form a strong foundation for everything related to the real estate sector, explaining the role of tourism in the development of the real estate sector in the Sultanate, considering that it has been the reason for the establishment of integrated complexes and resorts that include various housing options.
He emphasised the necessity of establishing new cities with sustainable designs, finding innovative housing solutions, and providing the opportunity for free ownership for foreigners, with innovation in financing methods, increasing spending on infrastructure, and integrating the strategies of all GCC countries to come out with a unified strategy that serves all sectors.
HE Dr Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Subaie with other panelists at the Qatar Real Estate Forum Sunday. PICTURE: Thajudheen