Citing the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, local reports suggest that the country will soon be unveiling a residence-by-investment scheme. The scheme will offer residency visas for a term of five to 10 years for non-citizens investing in the country.
Other incentives and benefits will also be part of the programme, but details are yet to be revealed. Further, indicators have been developed to assess the effectiveness, and financial and economic impact, of the new scheme.
For instance, it will monitor how many new foreign investment companies will be setting up shop in Oman, how much foreign investment it brings in, and what new employment opportunities arise out of the move.
The decision is one of many initiatives the country is taking to boost the economic environment. These include introducing value added tax at 5% this year, and allowing usufruct rights to non-citizens in certain areas of Muscat last year. The country also introduced a number of initiatives to enhance the attractiveness of its tourism sector.
All this is aimed at supporting economic growth. Oman is predicted to see a relatively higher growth rate compared to other GCC economies this year, at 2.5%. During 2022-23, this is expected to climb to 5.3%.
OTHER RESIDENCE-BY-INVESTMENT PROGRAMMES IN THE MEA REGION
In the Middle East, the UAE also provides residence-by-investment options for non-citizens. In fact, Dubai was recently named the world’s 11th best city for residence-by-investment, particularly for taxation benefits and COVID safety measures. The emirate introduced its residence by investment programme in August last year.
Port Louis was also highlighted in the report as one of the top cities by residence-by-investment. Dubai and Port Louis were the only two cities to be featured from the MEA region.
These programmes are largely seen as a means of bringing in foreign capital. In the wake of the pandemic last year, several countries updated their residence-by-investment schemes and launched online application portals.
However, these initiatives have also faced flak. They remain unpopular with EU authorities on account of security concerns, tax evasion, money laundering, and on a deeper level, the very nature of citizenship.
Photo credit: www.thenationalnews.com/business/economy/2021/09/29/oman-to-offer-long-term-residency-visas-to-attract-foreign-investment/
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