Saturday, October 18, 2008

EX-Muscat Municipality Chairman's Building in Shatti - Another one bits the dust?

Rumour of the day today is that the brand new building next to the Hyatt, allegedly built and owned by ex-Chairman of the Muscat Municipality, HE Eng. Abdullah Bin Abbas Bin Ahmed, will soon either be demolished or confiscated by the Government.

The reason apparently is that it's against building regulations, and of course that there might not have been sufficient checks and balances on the issuing of the permit, seeing as how HE Abbas was responsible for issuing such building permits. Concerns have been raised about its impact on the sewerage system, and the fact that the land was originally a small public garden.

This would mean it joins the fate of ex-Minister Juma bin Juma's new building near the airport where allegations of similar 'building permit issues' were being spread around the town.

Anyone heard anything similar?


  1. i hesard it too am waitin for more info but nuthing confirmed

  2. There's a thread on Sablat Oman in which the author is demanding that the Qurm building should follow the airport building but that the government shouldn't demolish it, they should confiscate it and deny the owner the benefit of the building's income.

    I guess what you heard is just an echo of that sentiment. I think the two-ex ministers were both investigated for a very long time before being removed from their respective offices. If this building were to be demolished or confiscated it would have happened by now.

  3. Muscati

    But that doesnt make the Qurum Building legal, does it?

    I have an old map of the Shatti Alqurum area, identify that plot as a gerden, how on earth a title deed was given, and how did Abdullah Abbas became the owner?

  4. The Shatti el-Qurm building is already occupied so it is not so easy to demolish, if indeed that is the plan.

  5. Karim - there are two suspicious things about that Shatti Al Qurm building: 1) that the land it is built on was originally set aside as a small park, and 2) that it is 5 stories high whereas the height limitation in the Shatti area is just 4.

    Both of these fall within the domain of the Ministry of Housing, not Muscat Municipality.

    I have asked about the height, and was told that due to the request to build this building up to 5 floors, the height limitation for the entire Shatti Al Qurm area was lifted and now anyone can build to that height. Of course, it wouldn't have happened if this HE hadn't pushed for that.

    As for the appropriation of a public park into a private land, that is something that happens a lot, especially in the Shatti area where two significant buildings, the Oman LNG building (privately owned, by the way, and leased by OLNG) and the Shining Shatti building, are both built on plots originally with public use designation. Usually the change of use and issuance of private title for these kinds of lands comes with direct orders from HM (that's how it was for the two examples I gave). I have no idea how it was for this particular building.

    It is such a high profile building, I am sure it was included and investigated thoroughly.

  6. I heard the same thing. What I heard is that there were people who wanted to buy the land besides Hayatt but Abbas wouldn't allow it, with the reason being that it's a public garden for everyone. But now he took it so he can build on it, and those people from before decided to raise a case against him.

  7. For those who do not know,Shatti Al Qurm was entirely under the Muscat municipality as a Diwan representative organ since the development of the district. Therefore Mr. abbas had full authority over the area and no doubt that he could do a lot there. I am sure if the records of this district are audited and investigated thoroughly many irregularities will be found in terms of relaxations in planning conditions as well as granting and allowing certain persons to extend their plots and annex services lanes to their plots with approvals of Mr. Abbas.


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