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His Majey
Sultan Qaboos Bin Said



Table of contents





Legal framework


Administrative procedures


Planning process


Planning guidelines


Social and environmental planning aspects


Controls for special areas


Surface water drainage and flood control


List of annexes
Annex 1 :

List of concerned authorities and their contact details

Annex 2 :

Forms related to real estate ownership

in Integrated Tourism Complexes

Annex 3 :

Procedures related to real estate ownership in Integrgated

Tourism Complexes

Annex 4 :

Request Form for an Integrated Tourism Development status

List of figures
Figure 1 :

Administrative procedures for review and approvals of

tourism development complexes

Figure 2 :

Suggested process for issuing environmental approvals for


1. Introduction
1.1 General
This Development Control Plan Framework (DCPF) is prepared by the Ministry of Tourism (MOT)
in coordination with the Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water
Resources, Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, Muscat Municipality and Supreme
Committee for Town Planning in response to the requirements of Royal Decree No. 65/2007
(Article 3).
DCPF helps in establishing a consistent process to be followed for every tourism development.
However, it is understood that it is extremely difficult to have a one-size-fits-all standard. Thus,
MOT has attempted to incorporate standards that can be used by the majority of developers, but the
process also allows for flexibility that responds to creative and innovative plans and designs.
1.2 What is a Development Control Plan Framework?
The DCPF is a document which provides a summary of the various policies, guidelines, and
standards adopted by the MOT and other concerned authorities (please refer to Annex 1 for details)
for the planning, development and operation of Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITCs) and which
developers should abide by throughout the development process.
1.3 Purpose of Development Control Plan Framework
The main aim of this DCPF is to provide well defined and consistent tourism development standards,
and an equitable review and approval process for ITCs.
The specific purpose of this DCPF is to provide guidance to entities submitting development
applications relating to all land designated by MOT for the development of ITC. This DCPF covers
two main parts:
Procedures to be followed for ITC development.
Guidelines and standards to be met, (e.g. building densities, heights, etc.).
1.4 Use of the Development Control Plan Framework
Developers are expected to study the DCPF and apply the guidelines and standards provided in all
planning phases of their developments.
The MOT will review the DCPs, Plans of Development (POD) and other documents submitted by
developers against the requirements, guidelines and standards outlined in this DCPF.
Developers are encouraged to discuss their proposals with the MOT as early as possible and
to fulfill all the requirements of the DCPF to ensure compliance and avoid delays and costly
After review and approval of the DCP by the MOT, it will be ratified by a ministerial decision
according to the relevant laws.

2. Definitions
This section provides the definitions of terms used in the DCPF to ensure standard and consistent
understanding throughout the development cycle.

Best International

The exercise of that degree of professional skill, diligence,

prudence and foresight as would reasonably and ordinarily be
expected from a skilled, qualified and experienced developer in
carrying out responsibilities and discharging operations of a type
similar to the project tasks.

Building Area

The area of land measured at finished ground level that is

enclosed by the external walls of a building or any attached
balconies or terraces.

Building Envelope

The three dimensional shape within which a development must

fit. It defines the limits for the siting (including setbacks) and
height of any buildings.

Building Height

Is measured from finished ground level or the top of the

basement whichever is higher to the height of the parapet.
Roofs and unoccupied towers or architectural structures are not
included in height measurement.

Building Permit

To be obtained from the Concerned Municipality upon

submission of a request by the Owner or his/her representative

Building Construction

To be obtained from the Concerned Local Municipality upon

submission of a request by the main contractor

Building Set Back

The distance between the relevant boundary and the nearest

part off the building to the boundary not being a car port,
veranda, balcony or roof overhang.

Civil Defence Facilities

Facilities developed for civil defence purposes according to

ROP standards and requirements.

Development Plan

The plan of the Project Company for the development and

promotion of the local community in the vicinity of the Project

Community Facilities

Conceptual Master Plan

Use of premises, within the DCP Area, for the provision of cultural,
social or community services (e.g. schools, libraries, colleges,
museums, community halls, hospitals, clinics, medical centres,
mosques, landscaping, etc provided for the public).
Provides an indicative graphic presentation, supported by a
written statement of the project vision and development intent
in accordance with the land use plan. It is subject to technical
review and detail design and does not commit the developer to
its detailed outcomes.

Created Waterways

Development Control
Plan Area (DCP Area)
Development Control
Plan Framework

Those canals, water channels and other waterways situated in

the Project Area which have been or are to be created for the
purposes of the Project and which are identified and described
more particularly as such in the Layout Plan and the Master plan.
Means the area having the coordinates described in the
krooki provided by the Ministry of housing for the specific
Is the document set by the Ministry of Tourism in coordination
with relevant government authorities to provide frameworks,
standards, specifications, measures and conditions to be used
by the developers to prepare the development control plans for
Integrated Tourism Complexes.

Development control
plan (DCP)

The document that is prepared by the Developer and approved

by the MOT incorporating the primary and detailed plans as
well as the standards, specifications, measures and conditions of
construction in the Integrated Tourism Complexes.

Domestic Pets

Means any animal, bird, reptile or fish which is kept in a

private dwelling for the interest, enjoyment or protection of
resident therein and not for sale, consumption or sacrifice.

Environmental Impact
Assessment (EIA)

EIA is a legal process that evaluates a developments potential

environmental risks and impacts in its area of influence,
examines project alternatives, identifies ways of improving
project selection, siting, planning, design, and implementation
by preventing, minimizing, mitigating, or compensating for
adverse environmental impacts and enhancing positive impacts.

Environmental Impact
Assessment Report

Final Master Plan

The report resulting from carrying out an EIA for a proposed

development and which is to be submitted to Ministry of
Environment and Climate Affairs (MECA) by the developer for
review and approval before starting the construction stage.
It is the engineered copy of the preliminary master plan with all
details for roads, boundaries, landscape, infrastructure networks
and sectors and phases of the DCP.


Provisions of basic services to ITCs including but not limited to

water, electricity, sanitary drainage, roads, etc.

Land Use Concept Plan


Is a plan in the DCP that defines land use and structural

elements in a notional way without being prescriptive on the
exact boundary or location of those Land Use or structural


Level of Service (LOS)

Mixed Use
Phasing Plan
Plan of Development

LOS is a concept used to describe the degree of comfort or

discomfort (delay) that drivers experience whilst driving through
the road or junction. The service is graded from A to F, where A is
the highest and level F is the lowest.
Means the Ministry of Tourism (MOT)
Means a development which includes tourism and residential
The plan for phased development of the Preliminary Master
It is a document containing all relevant information, details and
specifications in respect of either pre-development works or
development works and land use for a sector of the DCP.
Means an individual plot of land created by subdivision of part
of the DCP Area.


All works necessary to transform the natural project land to a

state where it is ready to be developed for its intended use.

Preliminary Master

Provides a detailed graphic presentation, supported by a written

statement of the project vision and development intent and main
development guidelines in accordance with the land use plan.

Residential unit

Any saleable unit in the ITC to be privately owned, even if it is

served by hotel management.


Means an area of land within the DCP Area having an area and
boundaries chosen by the Developer for inclusion in a POD.


Means a subplot of land created by subdivision of a plot or

unit into subplots and subunits each with access to Common
Property as shown on a subplot plan.

Subplot Plan

Means a plan of subdivision of a plot or unit forming part of a

POD submitted for approval by the Developer to the Approval
Authority in accordance with this DCP.

Tourism Uses

Hotels, marina, golf, restaurants, etc.

A TIA study is a technical appraisal of the traffic and safety

Traffic Impact Assessment implications relating to a specific development. The information
provided in the study
should enable the relevant authorities to assess the traffic impact
of such development.

Means any flat, apartment, building or any other structure

which is situated on a plot.


3. Legal framework
Although MOT is the main government authority responsible for licensing and management
of ITCs development, several other government agencies have additional legal roles along the
development life cycle.
This section outlines some selected legislations that are relevant to the development process of
ITCs. It should be noted that this list is not intended to be comprehensive in nature, but rather to
give developers directions and guidance on the main issues.
Developers and their consultants, contractors and other affiliates should be well aware of these
rules and regulations and should follow them throughout the planning cycle.
It is the responsibility of the developer to follow any amendments to existing laws and the issuance
of new ones which deals directly or indirectly with ITC development.

A. Integrated Tourism Complexes


1 Royal Decree No.


Issuing the system of rules of NonOmanis ownership of Real Estate in

integrated tourism complexes

Ministry of Housing
and Ministry of Tourism

The System of Non-Omani

Ownership of Real Estate in
Integrated Tourism Complexes

Ministry of Housing
and Ministry of Tourism

3 Royal Decree No.


Amending some provisions of the

system of rules of Non-Omanis
ownership of Real Estate in
Integrated Tourism Complexes
issued by Royal Decree No.12/2006

Ministry of Tourism

4 Ministerial Decision Issuing the Executive Regulations

No. 191/2007
for Real Estate Ownership in
Integrated Tourism Complexes Act.

Ministry of Housing

5 Decision No.

Amending the executive regulations

number 63/1996 dealing with
residency rules of foreigners in

Royal Oman Police

6 Ministerial
Decision No.

Forming the Government

Committee for Licensing Integrated
Tourism Complexes & establishing
its method of operation

Ministry of Tourism

7 Ministerial
Decision No.

Stipulating a new condition for the

licensing of ITCs as follows:
The number of residential units
in an ITC should not exceed the
number of the tourism units.

Ministry of Housing

Requirements for site planning and

architectural detailing requirements
for Muscat Municipality

Muscat Municipality

2 Building Regulation Requirements for site planning and

Document No.
architectural detailing requirements
for the rest of Oman

Ministry of Regional
Municipalities and
Water Resources

B. Building Regulations
1 Local Order No.

C. Urban Development Standards & Specifications

Decision No.
Amended by 23/97

Rules Regulating and Specifying

Coastal Setbacks

Ministry of
Environment & Climate

Oman Planning Guidelines

Supreme Council of
Town Planning

Oman Highway Design Manual

Ministry of
Transportation and

D. Social & Environmental Planning Aspects

1 Royal Decree No.

The Law on Conservation of the

Environment & Prevention of

Ministry of
Environment and
Climate Affairs

2 Royal Decree No.


The Law on Protection of Sources

of Potable Water from Pollution

3 Ministerial
Decision No.

Issuing the regulations for

organizing the issuance of
Environmental Approvals and Final
Environmental Permits

Ministry of Regional
Municipalities and
Water Resources
Ministry of
Environment and
Climate Affairs

4 Ministerial
Decision No.

Control of air pollution from point


Ministry of
Environment and
Climate Affairs



5 Ministerial
Decision No.

Regulations for Noise Pollution

Control in Public Environment

Ministry of
Environment and
Climate Affairs

6 Ministerial
Decision No.

Regulations for Wastewater Re-Use

and Discharge

Ministry of
Environment and
Climate Affairs

7 Ministerial
Decision No.

Regulations for the Management of

Solid, Non-Hazardous Waste

Ministry of
Environment and
Climate Affairs

4. Administrative procedures
After the MOT allocates the land for tourism development, developers are to follow the procedures
(Figure 1) to obtain the necessary approvals.
The official approvals for tourism development are granted on stages commensurate with the
planning phases and government requirements for each phase.
The administrative cycle, relevant requirements and their timeframes are outlined below.
4.1 Approvals for the Conceptual Master Plan





The developer is required to submit the Conceptual Master Plan of development

within six (6) months of granting the land. The contents of this submission are detailed
in chapter 5.
MOT will review and comment on the conceptual master plan within a period of 30
business days.
In parallel, MOT will send copies of the conceptual master plan to the following
government authorities for their review and comments.

Ministry of Housing

Concerned Municipality

Ministry of Transportation & Communication (in case the development has a marina

ROP (Traffic Department) for preliminary approval

Supreme Committee for Town Planning

The developer is requested to amend the conceptual master plan as per MOT comments
if any and re-submit it for review and approval not later than three (3) months from
receiving the comments.
If the re-submitted conceptual master plan meets all MOT requirements as per this DCPF,
the developer is granted the Preliminary Approval.

4.2 Approvals for the Preliminary Master Plan


After receiving the preliminary approval, the developer should start the preparation of the
Preliminary Master Plan as per requirements detailed in chapter 4.


The preliminary master plan (8 A0 hard copies and 8 digital copies) is to be submitted
within six (6) months from obtaining the preliminary approval for review by MOT.


MOT will review and comment on the preliminary master plan within a period of 45
business days.



In parallel, MOT will send copies of the preliminary master plan to the following
government authorities for their review, comments and approvals:


Ministry of Housing
Concerned Municipality if within Muscat Governorate, Dhofar Governorate or
Sohar Development Offices jurisdiction.
In other cases: Directorate General of Technical Affairs, Ministry of Regional
Municipalities & Water Resources.
ROP (Security Authorities , Traffic and Civil Defense )
Ministry of Transportation & Communication (in case there is a marina
Supreme Committee for Town Planning

The developer is requested to amend the preliminary master plan as per MOT and
other authorities comments and submit the amended preliminary master plan not later
than three (3) months from receiving the comments to be concurrently approved and
stamped by MOT and other concerned authorities.

4.3 Approvals for the Final Master Plan


Following the official approvals on the preliminary master plan, the developer starts
to prepare the detailed engineering plans and designs (Final/detailed Master Plan) as
detailed in chapter 5.


The final master plan (7 A0 hard copies and 7 digital copies) is to be submitted within
nine (9) months from obtaining the approval on the preliminary master plan.


In parallel, the developer will submit a complete detailed copy to the following
authorities for their concurrent approvals:
Concerned Municipality if within Muscat Governorate, Dhofar Governorate or
Sohar Development Offices jurisdiction
In other cases: Directorate General of Technical Affairs, Ministry of Regional
Municipalities & Water Resources.


MOT will review the final master plan within 45 business days.


In parallel, MOT will send copies of the final master plan to the following government
authorities for their review, comments and approvals:
Ministry of Housing
ROP Operations Department (3 copies) for final approval


At this stage, the developer should start coordination with Public Power and Water
Authority and the Omani Wastewater Company.


4.4 Approvals for the Plans of Development (PODs)


PODs are to be submitted in two (2) copies in conjunction with a full set of all other
relevant approvals as detailed in chapter 5. One copy will be submitted by the
developer to the Concerned Municipality for review before issuing the building


The other copy will be submitted to MOT to be reviewed within a period of 30

business days for each complete set of POD.


The municipality will only review the architectural drawings and MOT will review
all drawings of each POD, through its contracted consultants.


The developer is requested to amend the POD(s) as per MOT and concerned
municipalitys comments and submit the amended plans; not later than one (1) month
from receiving the comments to be concurrently approved and stamped by MOT and
the municipality.


Upon granting the approvals, the concerned municipality will issue the building permit
of the approved components.


The main contractor then submits for receiving the construction approval from the local

4.5 General Procedures


After land allocation, the developer will be granted the right to access the land in order
to start the preparatory site investigations, planning and design process.


If the developer wishes to apply for an ITC status of the development, a

written application should be submitted to the Ministry (See Annex 3) together
with other requirements at the Conceptual Master Planning level (please see below).


The application will be studied by the Tourism Ministerial Committee, pursuant to the
law, and a decision to grant or withhold the ITC status will be made.


Together with land allocation, a copy (hard and soft) of the DCPF will be handed to
the developer. The developer is required to follow the planning stages, adopt guidelines
and standards throughout the planning phases.


MOT will not accept submissions if they lack any of the relevant requirements as per
this DCPF.


When reviewing the master plans, MOT will only consider those components of the
plan which MECA has included in its preliminary environmental approval.



With the submission of the PODs, the developer should submit detailed information
relevant to the following items to the MOT:
Name of the project consultant
Scope of work of the consultant
Timeframe of the required scope of work
The specific component(s) which the consultant is responsible for


Specialized consultants are required for special development features such as golf
courses, marinas, etc.


The developer is required to follow up the review process with the

different government authorities and respond to their comments and amend his
plans accordingly.


Copies of all environmental approvals should be submitted to MOT with relevant

documents for approvals.

4.6 Master Plan Amendment Procedures


Once approved, no amendments to a master plan will be allowed unless MOT receives
a written request from the developer detailing and justifying the proposed amendments
and MOT approves it in coordination with other relevant authorities.


In general, major amendments or modification to master plans are discouraged.


Any changes/modifications in the master plan will require a new approval of MECA
and other concerned authorities, as per the law.

4.7 Review/Administrative Fees


MOT may collect an administrative fee of 0.25% of the projects estimated cost to
cover the following:


Official reviews by the municipalities and civil defense authorities

Appointment of specialized consultants to review engineering drawings on behalf
of MOT
Costs of development monitoring on the ground by MOT staff

This fee will be paid in parallel to the construction permits issued for the POD(s).

4.8 Follow-up, Monitoring and Evaluation



Developers are requested to submit progress reports every three (3) months to MOT for
follow up and evaluation.


MOT will monitor the implementation of developments on the ground to ensure proper
compliance to standards and schedules.


MOT may appoint a consultant to follow up and monitor the implementation of the
tourism project on the ground.


Any deviations from standards or timeframes will be communicated to developers for

immediate corrective actions.


In case of persistent deviations by developers, MOT will take the necessary actions.

4.9 Environmental Reviews and Approvals



To ensure that tourism development is carried out with appropriate environmental

safeguards, the environmental approvals for such developments are granted on a tiered
manner parallel to the project planning cycle (Figure 2).
MOT coordinates the procedures and timeframes of environmental approvals with
MECA in order to ensure a smooth planning cycle that respects the environment and
national cultures as well as achieves the intended economic goals of the Ministry.

On the Conceptual Master Plan Level

In parallel with the submission of the conceptual master plan, MOT in coordination
with MECA will carry out an Initial Environmental Evaluation (IEE) of the proposed

The purpose of IEE is to broadly ensure that the environmental considerations are
integrated into the development planning and that no significant environmental/social
risks are expected from that development.

The outcome of this stage is a Terms of Reference (TOR) for the developer with
guidance on available standards/guidelines for specific components, the necessary
considerations and details that should be addressed in the environmental studies to be
carried out within the next planning phases.

No environmental approvals are granted at this stage.

On the Preliminary Master Plan Level

The developer should carry out a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) on the
master plan level covering the proposed development and all its components according
to the requirements of MECA.


MECA will review the SEA in coordination with MOT and will issue its Preliminary
Environmental Approval of the development.
The approval will list the full-fledged EIAs required for specific project components
(for which no sufficient details were given or no detailed designs were
available on the SEA level) which will be required before the start of the construction
phase of such components.



On the Final Master Plan Level

With the finalization of engineering details of each of the project components listed in
the Preliminary Environmental Approval as requiring full EIA, the developer submits
an EIA to MECA for review and approval.

Once approved, the developer can start the construction phase for the approved

5. Planning process
5.1 General

This section describes the process of planning and management of ITC projects
adopted by MOT in coordination with concerned authorities.
It involves a four-tier planning process: Conceptual, Preliminary and Final master
planning, and Plan of Development phases. The developer is required to complete the
requirements of each phase - as detailed below - and submit it for approval by MOT
and other concerned authorities before proceeding to the next phase.
All development submissions in response to these planning phases should include both
graphic representations and descriptive/analytical reports.
Details and requirements under each phase are given hereunder.

5.2 Conceptual Planning Phase

To meet the requirements of the first phase of approval, the developer has to deliver a Conceptual
Master Plan including the following:



Description of the DCP area and environs

Development vision and concept: Explaining how the developer envisages the proposed
development to be within the national and international tourism contexts.
Development objectives: Identifying the short, medium and long term goals of the
Analyses of site characteristics, potentials, and constraints: Collection and
analysis of DCP area-specific data and information (physical, ecological, climatic
and socioeconomic) necessary to gain an understanding of the sites development
potentials and explore opportunities as well as constraints.
Planning Principles: Planning principles which the developer adopts in order to meet the
development objectives.
Proposed overall land uses and project components: The intended land uses and structural
elements of the development within the DCP area in an indicative manner. It is not
intended to prescribe the precise boundary or locations of those land uses or
structural elements, but rather to show notional locations.
Development Phases: Development priority of sectors and intents of the development and
their timeframes.
Infrastructure requirements: Utilities and networks including accessibility and movement
systems (e.g. electricity, water, wastewater treatment plant, road networks, etc).
Estimated costs of the project.
Name and particulars of developer, promoters and specialized consultants.


5.3 Preliminary Planning Phase



This phase involves the development of the approved conceptual master plan of the
project to a higher level of details identifying prototypical building footprints for
the various land uses under consideration, along with related infrastructure and phasing.
To meet the requirements of this phase of approval, the developer has to deliver a
Preliminary Master Plan including inter alia the following:
Land use plan and land budget with the foot print of different components of the DCP
area, with initial coordinates
Maximum heights of buildings for different sectors
Densities and setbacks for different land uses and areas
Number of units and buildings
Prototypical sections showing the relationship of roads and buildings
Plan for drainage and flood protection, if relevant
Traffic impact study, if needed
Preliminary landscape plans
Housing land requirements for the employees of the project (inside or outside the
DCP area)
Services & Facilities (e.g., educational and health facilities)
Infrastructure, utilities and networks (e.g. water, electricity, wastewater, solid
waste, roads inside and outside the DCP area).
Sites dedicated for civil defense facilities, solid waste disposal, police and
security services, etc.
Development timetable (Schedule)
A copy of the Preliminary Environmental Approval for the project and its components
as indicated in the preliminary master plan

5.4 Final Master Planning Phase

In this phase, the preliminary master plan must be engineered and detailed sufficiently
to prepare for final review and approvals before issuing the construction permits.
To meet the requirements for this stage of approvals, developers should submit a Final
Master Plan document including inter alia the following:

5.4.1 Drawings and Graphics


The proposed subdivisions of all sectors and parcels including roads, community uses,
open spaces, residential lots, etc.
Locations of all proposed uses and where relevant building envelopes for each POD.
Indicative architectural designs or suggested styles of development components.
Infrastructure and utilities: details of requirements, sources, networks, locations and
management plans.

Final development phases, execution plans and time schedules with lists of components
for each phase.
Perspectives and sketches illustrating the features of all development components.

5.4.2 Technical Report

The above mentioned requirements should be complemented with a report describing and analyzing
the final planning phase and its outcome and should include the implementation schedule and
estimated costs.
5.5 Plan of Development (POD) Phase

This phase involves the final details and working drawings for individual sectors, plots
and/or components of ITCs.
5.5.2 Upon approval of a POD, developers will be granted construction permits to commence
work on the ground.
5.5.3 The requirements for submitting a POD for a specific phase or sector are as follows:
Planning and development objectives of the various land uses of the phase/sector
including descriptions of the land uses on maps and plans
Proposed subdivision of the sector including roads, community uses, open spaces,
residential lots, etc.
Location of all proposed uses and where relevant building envelopes
Boundaries of relevant land use elements
Cadastral boundaries of the sector, subdivisions and plots
Development controls (e.g. densities, set backs, etc) and guidelines (e.g. for design,
siting, landscape, signage, etc) for intended land uses
Details of utilities and services
Architectural drawing
Implementation schedule
Estimated costs

5.6 Amendments
Any amendments to the approved master plans or deviations from any conditions stipulated in
the approved plans will not be allowed unless explicit and written consent is issued by MOT, in
coordination with other concerned authorities.


6. Planning guidelines
6.1 General
In this section, guidelines, codes and standards that the developer should follow in the planning
and design of the different components of ITCs are outlined.
6.2 Overall Development Control
Site Coverage
The percentage of land exploited for building shall not exceed 30% of total land area (30% footprint),
with at least 50% devoted to tourism uses, and 50% or less devoted to residential uses.
Tourism Residential Units Ratio
As the main objective of the ITC is to encourage tourism development, the number of residential
units shall not exceed the number of hotel guest rooms (1:1 ratio), unless otherwise approved by
the MOT.
6.3 Densities
a) Hotels
Hotel Rank /
Star Classification

Foot print

Maximum number of

Minimum number of units/


b) Residential Units

Densities (persons/hectare)






Average Footprint
Stand alone and semi
attached units

c) Average built-up areas for apartment units

Studio 30-45 m2
1 room 47-68 m2
2 rooms 72-99 m2
3 rooms 97-132 m2

d) Minimum land area for a private villa: 400 m2




Mixed use

6.4 Building Setbacks


Front setbacks

Street address setback of building is generally developed in integration with the street
space and landscape.
Residential Buildings setback is not less than 6 m.
Mixed use residential buildings setbacks are not less than 3 m.
Commercial facilities may be built to the road frontage boundary where outdoor dining,
leisure activities or public spaces are proposed.

6.4.2 Side and rear setbacks

As a general guide, where there are openings to rooms in a building, it must be set
back to a minimum of 3m from a side or rear boundary of the site.
If there are no openings, buildings may be built to the boundary, where the next building
must be set back 3m, otherwise to be attached.
Building-to-building setback is not less than 6 m if there are windows in both
Hotels set back should not be less then 10 m all around the boundary from inside
to accommodate an access service street unless one of the boundaries is a beach or
waterway, setbacks to be determined by law.

6.5 Heights Guidelines


Floor heights

The minimum floor to ceiling clear height shall be as follows:

a) For residential areas:
Ground floor or single storey buildings (3.00) meters and for other floors (2.80) meters.
b) For commercialresidential areas:

The minimum height of the ground floor if there is no mezzanine is (4.00) meters
and (6.00) meters if there is a mezzanine.
The minimum height of a single storey commercial building is (4.00) meters if
there is no mezzanine and (6.00) meters if there is a mezzanine.
Height clearance of the rooms shall be the clearance after excluding all necessary
electromechanical equipments requirements above the false ceiling.



Maximum Buildings Heights

a) Seaside heights

Within 100 m beyond

the setback


9 m (g+2)

Residential including town


7 m (g+1)


Not applicable

14 m (g+3)

Public areas


14 m

150 m

=> 150 m
21 m (g+4)

10 m (g+2)

14 m (g+3)

These guidelines do not apply to marina side buildings.

All villas must not exceed the residential heights with maximum of G+2 (10m) in all
parts of the DCP area

b) Mountain side building heights

Building heights should consider maximizing opportunities for view sharing.

Distribute buildings in such a manner that would not disturb the natural characteristics
of the site
Consideration should be given to reduce any blocking of the view and maximizing
view sharing opportunities.
Every effort should be made in order to maintain The Virtual line between the head of
the mountain and its foot including indigenous tall trees which should not be disturbed
by any building.
Complement the Nature of the mountain.

c) The maximum height of the following buildings shall be excluded:

Public buildings such as lecture rooms, covered theatres, conference halls and the
like according to the technical specifications in force in the Sultanate.
Sports halls according to the structural requirements.
Staircases, water tanks and air conditioners on top of the buildings provided that they
are enclosed and treated architecturally to conceal them.
The parapet shall not be more than (one) meter above the maximum height of the

6.6 Car Parking


Car parks shall be shown on the drawings for all buildings and shall be within the legal
boundaries of the plot.
Requirements for car parking are given in the following table.

Type of Use

Car Parking Requirements

Residential areas

At least one car park for every flat or single family residence of less than 4-room capacity.
Two (2) car parks should be provided for units with more than 4 rooms.

Commercial and
residential areas

At least one car park for every flat, office or shop. If the area of office or shop exceeds 50
m2, an additional car park shall be provided for every additional 50 m2.

centers and

At least one car park for every (10) seats or (50%) of the total built area whichever provides
the largest parking space.

Clubs and

At least one car park for every (12.00) square meters of covered area
5 stars, a car park for every (3) beds.
4 stars, a car park for every (5) beds.
3 stars, a car park for every (10) beds.
Two spaces should be provided for tourist buses parking near the main entrance for loading
and unloading purposes only.
1 car /boat up to 35 feet- long boat and 2 for more
Entertainment areas regulations will be applied
To be calculated as a sum of all needs of uses


Public areas
Mixed use

* The numbers here refer to the number of beds only and other outlets in the hotels should have additional relevant parking spaces.

Developers should be aware that the competent department may request that a study
on traffic effects be conducted in case of projects that may substantially affect traffic

6.7 Requirements for People with Special Needs

ITCs and all its components (hotels, residential, public areas, parking, etc) should be
planned and designed to satisfy the requirements for people with special needs, and as
specified in the relevant regulations and according to international standards.

6.8 Utilities

Some general guidelines are given hereafter for utilities components.

Details, however, vary between areas, locations and sites based on unique
Location of utilities should be sensitive to the amenity of other development facilities
in terms of visual intrusion, odors and noise pollution.
Public utilities/services (e.g. fire protection, ambulance, etc) should be located with
easy access to roads and main entrances.
Above-ground structures should be designed into the terrain or in a compatible
architectural style to surrounding developments in order not to detract from the
character of the project.
The use of overhead cables for local infrastructure is prohibited in order to maintain
the visual appeal.


a) Water Supply

For general design purposes average domestic consumption is estimated at 200 liters
per head per day for residential uses.
For tourism uses, the following consumption rates should be observed:

Employees housing
3 star hotel
4 star hotel
5 star hotel

Consumption Rate (L/Person/Day)


For domestic consumption, summer average demand is equal to 1.2 times annual
average day demand and peak day demand equals 1.5 times annual average demand.
For commercial, institutional and industrial consumption on peak day demand equals
1.25 times average day demand.
Installed capacity should usually cater for peak day demand plus 25% standby capacity
in some locations more standby capacity is required.
Appropriate protection measures must be taken to prevent pollution of ground water
systems from surface water runoff and from risks arising from solid and liquid waste
disposal sites, industrial activities and domestic sewage.
Water storage standards are as follows:
Desalination plants, 1 day of production of blended water.
Ground or elevated reservoirs, 2 days of peak day demand.
Individual dwellings, 1 day of peak day demand.
Reservoirs for fire fighting is not less than 3 hours full capacity
For distribution networks, location of pipes and specifications shall meet the approved
regulations provided by the concerned authorities.

b) Sewerage and Sewage Treatment

Sewage requirements to be calculated as 80% of the total developments consumption

of Potable water.
Wastewater treatment and guidelines should follow the Ministerial Decision No.
All sewage treatment facilities have to be sited away from the direct visual contact of
guests and in a downwind location.

c) Irrigation


The quality and use of treated sewage effluent for irrigation is governed by the Ministry
of Environment through the Ministerial Decision No. 5 for 1984.

d) Electricity

Electricity requirements for different development elements are shown in the following

Consumption Rate (KVA/Unit)

Public Facilities (e.g. clinics, mosque,
Recreational Facilities

3 4 KVA /room
1 KVA / 100 m2
2 KVA /100 m2

* High consumption equipments to be calculated separately (A/C, pumps., etc).

e) Solid Waste Collection and Disposal

The collection of solid waste and its safe transport to disposal sites is the responsibility
of the Developer.
The disposal of solid waste is carried out in officially designated sites and it is the
responsibility of local Municipalities.
Special requirements for the management of hazardous waste are set by the law.

6.9 Roads
a) Streets Hierarchy

An illustrated example of streets hierarchy is given in the following figure.

The streets hierarchy and its relationship to the planning hierarchy of ITCs




Right of Way
Standard (m)

Relation to ITC planning

Primary Streets

Connect districts to
primary roads

80 - 120

Cannot provide the main access to an ITC

Connect local areas and/to

primary streets

30 - 50

Connect an ITC to a primary street, may

continue around the main sectors within the

Local Streets

Give access to properties

and connect to secondary


Around the plots within sectors

Access Streets

Give access to properties

10 - 15

Inside the plots


b) DCP Area Streets Network

The local street network system must be designed to ensure low traffic speeds, safe pedestrian
routes and to create a pleasant residential and working environment.

Layout principles for local and access streets as follows:

It is desirable to limit the maximum straight length of street to 100 meters.

Minimum straight road approaching junction with local or Secondary Street 25 meters.
Minimum straight section between curves in opposite directions 40 meters.
Avoid cross roads where possible.
Angles of intersection at T-junctions should be 90o if possible (minimum 75o, maximum 100o).

c) Design Standards for Streets


Urban Street
Primary Street

Secondary Street

Local Street

Access Street

2x3 or 2x2 lane


2x2 lane, 2 lane


2 lane
2 way

2 lane









(3.50 min)

(3.50 min)



Pavement width (m)

7.30 or 10.95

7.30 or 15.60



Emergency shoulder
without rounding (m)









Type of road
Right of way (m)
Design speed (km/h)
Lane width (m)

Paved footpath (m)

Landscaping, can
be outside road


d) Junctions

Junctions should be well spaced to minimize delays to traffic and can be gradeseparated, roundabout or slip-on-off, depending on site conditions and predicted traffic
Priority junctions are permissible where traffic volumes are low. Junctions between
primary streets and local streets should be avoided. There should be no junction
between primary and access streets.
Junctions to provide access to projects not to be added to main roads unless a distance
of 3km is provided before and after the new junction to other junctions.

e) Pedestrian facilities

Pedestrian crossing should be provided for safe crossing of users in the busy parts
of the ITC (down town), raised pavements clearly marked to emphasis priority to
pedestrians should be provided to ensure a safe passage for them.

f) Bikeways

Cycle ways is recommended near marinas downtown areas, the beach hotel and sea
front areas where residents can benefit from cycling near the beach on flat areas.
In steep lands and high topography areas bike ways are not recommended.

g) Traffic impact Assessment (TIA)

Roads planning and design for ITCs may require a Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA)
This study is required if the development would generate significant additional traffic
in the development area of influence (e.g. > 5%).
The TIA study would determine whether the development necessitates changes in the
existing or planned road infrastructure or public transportation services and types of
streets needed to connect the different uses within the ITC in a Level of Service (LOS)
not less than B level according to the LOS scale.
The developer is required to implement the recommendations of the concerned
authority after reviewing the TIA

6.10 Landscaping

Developments should not pose any negative impacts on the natural landscape.
Developments should create a sense of place by enhancing the natural environment
and complementing the built environment
The use of indigenous plant species is highly encouraged.
The introduction of exotic species is prohibited unless prior approval of the Ministry
of Environment and Climate Affairs is granted.
The use of low-water plants should be promoted.


Landscaping should blend into the background of the development as much as possible
and shaded pedestrian paths to be provided..

Landscape plans should show:

Outline of proposed buildings

Existing trees (species, height and spread) with reference to any trees that might be
Proposed planting (quantity, species, mature height and spread)
Irrigation systems and piping networks
Proposed pathways, paving materials and patterns.
Site furniture (Pergola, seats, etc.).
Water features (Fountains, water fall, etc).
Special features (pedestrian bridge, retaining walls, art elements, etc.).
Landscape lighting.

6.11 Golf Feature

The golf features of ITCs should be designed and operated according to the best
international standards (e.g. PGA).
The unique climatic conditions of Oman should be fully integrated into the design and
operation management.
Water conservation practices should be observed.

6.12 General Development Guidelines

a) General built form

The design should create a friendly and visually stimulating environment which reflects
both the vernacular architecture of Oman and the Arab region
Architectural style should generally contain elements of Omani architecture and
materials should reflect the theme of the resort.
Development should show where possible, take advantage of the views offered by the
site elements in order to enhance the ambiance of each development.
Building form should respond to the climate of Oman to offer sustainable design
Pedestrian access is to be encouraged as well as environmental friendly transportation
in the leisure and entertainment areas by providing enough parking spaces.

b) View sharing


Endeavor must be made in the planning of land uses and design of buildings to minimize
the loss of view sharing possibilities, the site analysis must assess the value of the view
offered and consider from what part of the site the views are obtained.
An assessment of the impact of the proposal and its reasonableness must then be

c) Materials

Using materials which reflect the nature and colors of the area is encouraged.

d) Fences and boundary walls

Fences and boundary walls should take into account the need for different levels of privacy in
different parts of the DCP area.

e) Colors

Developers should use the colors/pallets and tones in external finishes which best blend
with the natural surroundings of the development and according to the requirements of
the concerned municipality.

f) Signage

Signage throughout the DCP area must be in accordance with the signage code and are
to be in both Arabic and English languages.
Commercial sign boards should be compliant with local municipality guidelines
Internal direction signs and road names will be specially designed by the developer.

g) Animals in residential areas

The keeping of animals, including domestic pets (e.g., birds, or fish) will be limited to
short lists to be prepared by developers and approved by MOT and other concerned
authorities within the DCP.


7. Social and environmental planning aspects

7.1 Introduction

MOT strives for positive development outcomes in the projects it supports. An

important component of positive development outcomes is the social and environmental
sustainability of tourism projects, which MOT expects to achieve by abiding to all
relevant national legslations and by adopting the social and environmental performance
standards developed by the IFC in 2006 (
It is the responsibility of the developer to plan and implement proposed developments
according to these standards.

7.2 Social and Environmental Planning Aspects

To ensure social and environmental sustainability of its developments, MOT requires

that all ITC developments are subject to EIA- a national legal requirement, before
commencement of the construction phase.
The definition of EIA adopted by MOT is given in section 2. In carrying out EIAs,
MOT encourages preventive measures over mitigatory or compensatory measures,
whenever feasible.
EIA should take into account the natural environment (including biotic and abiotic
components- refer to sections 7.2.1 and 7.2.2 below for explanation); human health and
safety and social aspects (involuntary resettlement, indigenous peoples and cultural
EIA considers natural and social aspects in an integrated way.

In the following parts, details of the various aspects of the natural and social components of the
environment that are required to be addressed by developers during the planning stages of ITCs
development are given.
7.2.1 Biotic Aspects


During the planning and implementation phases of ITCs, developers should study the
biotic components of their project area. These include existing plants and animals
(both on land and sea), habitats and ecosystems. These components represent lifesupport systems and are the very asset of tourism itself.
These living creatures may provide additional assets to tourism activities if well
managed. MOT encourages developers to promote conservation of endangered plant
and animal species, critical habitats, and protected areas to conserve nature and sustain
their developments.

7.2.2 Abiotic Aspects

The abiotic components of development areas including geology, topography, surface

and underground hydrology, soils and structural settings (fractures/faults), should be
thoroughly analyzed.
These components may offer opportunities or impose constraints and risks for
development. Planning and design of developments should be based on the unique
abiotic characteristics of the site and surrounding area.

7.2.3 Social Aspects

Both the natural environment and its social profile constitute the unique character of a
place, area or region.
Developers are encouraged to study social aspects of their project area of influence
including: culture, livelihoods, traditional lifestyles, values and gender sensitivities of
local communities, etc.
These aspects should be integrated in project planning, design and implementation
In addition, protection of the nonreplicable cultural heritage of Oman should be
Cultural heritage may include tangible property and sites having archaeological
(prehistoric), paleontological, historical, cultural, artistic, and religious value, as well
as unique natural environmental features that embody cultural values, such as sacred
Any risks or negative impacts on such social aspects should be addressed and dealt
with before projects commence.

7.2.4 Built-Environment Aspects

In case the development of an ITC occurs within a built environment, the following aspects should
be taken into consideration:

Sites, structures, and remains of aesthetic value or visual appeal should be preserved
and integrated with the development design and architecture.
Architectural style, landscape design and construction materials should reflect local
cultural elements and should be in harmony with the built fabric.
The development design and architecture should reflect high visual quality.
Developments should not obstruct the main view shed of the area.
Development facilities should not put pressure on existing infrastructure (water,
electricity, roads, solid waste management, etc) that would affect local communities.


7.2.5 Resource Efficiency and Conservation (Leadership in Energy & Environment Design, LEED)
- Energy
Some of the measures most commonly recommended for both design considerations for minimizing
unnecessary energy use and for better control of energy intensive operating practices include the

signage and notes to remind tourists to participate in energy conservation by turning

out lights, maintaining moderate air-conditioning operation, and

solar water heaters

designs for open-air public spaces in hotels and resorts

motion detectors for room lighting

re-engineering of kitchen areas

replacement of appliances (e.g., refrigerators) in rooms with more modern, more

energy efficient versions

reduced-wattage, low-energy, or solar-powered (e.g., for pathway lights) lighting


- Water
Some of the main approaches and measures commonly used in the tourism sector to achieve water
use efficiency are given below.


Use low-volume showerhead faucets and toilets.

Replace faucets that use as much as 2.5 gallons per minute with those which use only
Low-volume faucet aerators can be installed in existing ones.
Installing toilet tank, water displacement devices, such as toilet dams, bags, or weighted
Retrofitting flush (tank-less) toilets with water-saving diaphragms which save one
gallon (20%) per flush.
Reduce excessive blow-down. Many cooling towers operate below the suggested levels
of total dissolved solids (TDS) unnecessarily. Adjust boiler and cooling tower blowdown rate to maintain TDS at levels recommended by manufacturers' specifications.
Consider using ozone as a cooling tower treatment to reduce water use for make-up.
Lower pool level to avoid splash-out. Water that is unavoidably splashed-out can be
channeled onto the landscape or back into the pool.
Reduce the water used to back-flush pool filters.
Water early in the morning or in the evening when wind and evaporation are lowest.
Consider using low-volume irrigation, such as a drip system.
Consider using drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants.
Treat wastewater to the level that it can be re-used for irrigation safely.


The following factors and guidance should be considered when dealing with materials:

Non-hazardous chemicals
VOC-free material (e.g. paints)

7.2.6 Pollution Prevention and Control

MOT encourages developers to adopt strategies that avoid or minimize adverse impacts
on human health and the environment by preventing or minimizing pollution from
tourism project activities.
Developers are thus expected to consider ambient conditions and apply pollution
prevention and control technologies that are best suited to avoid or reduce adverse
impacts on human health and the environment; while remaining technically and
financially feasible and cost-effective.
These technologies and practices should be applied during the construction and
operation phases of the project.
The project-specific pollution prevention and control techniques applied during the
project life-cycle will be tailored to the hazards and risks associated with project
emissions and consistent with good international practice.
Standards for emissions to air, water and land, which developers should abide by, are
set by a series of regulations that were formulated by the Ministry of Environment and
Climate Affairs.

7.2.7 Waste Management

Developers of ITCs are required to adopt integrated waste management strategies. The benefits of
such strategies are:

Reduced environmental impacts

Reduced impacts on tourism business
Reduced costs
Improved public image
Compliance with environmental laws
Conservation of landfill space
Support for local economic and social development

An integrated waste management strategy involves the following eight steps:

Incorporate waste management into the design of the development


Establish waste policy and management structure

Conduct a waste assessment
Identify waste prevention options
Identify waste diversion options
Identify waste disposal options
Design waste management program
Implement, monitor and adapt the waste management program

7.3 Social Responsibility and Community Development

In this section, policies and directions of the MOT linking tourism development to communities
and societies commensurate with corporate social responsibility are outlined.
7.3.1 Linking Development to Local Communities Cultures and Aspirations


Cultural resources are reflections of past social, economic, historical and environmental
conditions and events. Thus, MOT is committed to socially-sensitive tourism
development that focuses on local communities as the main beneficiary of such

Tourism activities in areas containing cultural resources or traditional activities

should be encouraged to pursue appropriate procedures from initial planning through
operations to ensure that these nonrenewable, environmentally sensitive resources are
protected, conserved and interpreted for visitors and future generations.

Among the specific practices which need to be applied to the management of tourism
areas with cultural resources or populations employing traditional practices are the

Proposed development sites should be surveyed for cultural resources and traditional
uses, and the significance and integrity of these should be documented prior to the
consideration or approval of any tourism development proposal.

Local communities should be integrated into the development plans and share its

Provisions for the local communities to continue to exercise their customary rights
should be in place.

Job or new livelihood opportunities for the local communities should be secured in the
development plan.

Site and facility designs should include features which preserve and promote significant
cultural features.

The operating plan of the proposed facility should include interpretation of cultural
resources and opportunities to accommodate traditional practices. (For example,
provide a seasonal permit in portions of a bay containing a swimming beach to permit
fishers to harvest bait fish).

Resettlement plans are required to be prepared by developers for every project involving
involuntary resettlement and impacts from land acquisition, in coordination with MOT
and local officials.

Local Community Engagement

Community engagement is an on-going process involving the developers disclosure

of information.

When local communities may be affected by risks or adverse impacts from a project,
the engagement process will include consultation with them or their representatives.
This is to be also coordinated with the local officials (e.g. Walis Office).

The purpose of community engagement is to build and maintain over time a constructive
relationship with these communities and gain their support for the project.

The nature and frequency of community engagement will reflect the projects risks to
and adverse impacts on the affected communities. Community engagement will be free
of external manipulation, interference, or coercion, and intimidation, and conducted
on the basis of timely, relevant, understandable and accessible information.

Effective community engagement is central to the successful management of risks and

impacts to the affected communities.

MOT requires developers to engage with affected communities through disclosure of

information, consultation, and informed participation, in a manner commensurate with
the risks to and impacts on the affected communities.

7.3.2 Commitment to Omanization Plans

As part of Corporate Social Responsibility, developers are required to commit themselves to the

Promote training and employment of Omani nationals, preferably from local

communities in tourism projects.
Developers are required to identify the number and types of new job opportunities
in their developments during both the construction and operation phases in relation
to all project components (e.g. golf course, marina, hotels, residential units, etc).
Plans detailing how the developer would advertise the available opportunities,
qualify/train local candidates and then employ them should be prepared by
developers for each ITC.
These plans should be endorsed by government authorities for future monitoring
and follow up.
Developers are also required to give local suppliers and contractors a priority (first
refusal basis) for supply of material and goods as well as to perform works in
tourism developments.
MOT will monitor and follow up these commitments throughout project phases.


7.3.3 Community Development Plan

For ITCs, developers are required to prepare a community development plan. This plan should
detail the following actions:


How was the local community engaged?

How were the community needs and characteristics identified?
How were these needs and characteristics integrated into the development
What type of projects/services, and their budgets and timeframes the developer will
provide to maintain/upgrade living conditions of the local communities?
The number and types of employment opportunities or livelihoods that the
development will generate, and the percentage of these granted to Omani
Training areas, venues and schedules for local people.
Employment strategy for trained people and its sustainability.
General milestones for the plan, to be used for follow up and evaluation.

8. Controls for special areas

8.1 Introduction

Planning differs widely according to project site and environment. Different settings and
environments require different analyses of the physical constraints and opportunities
presented by the site.
In addition, the ecology and natural resources differ greatly among various environments
(e.g. coastal, desert, mountain). A clear understanding of the ecological processes/
sensitivities and natural resources management issues of a particular environment is a
pre-requisite of a sustainable development.

8.2 Coastal Zones Development Control

Recognizing the importance and sensitivities of Omans coastal zone and fulfilling the principles
of sustainable tourism development, the MOT adopts the following policies for coastal

Execution of any work with the potential to affect the natural coastline or modify it is
prohibited unless approvals by the concerned administrative authorities are obtained
prior to the commencement of such works.
In principle, land filling into the sea (reclamation) is prohibited.
Legal coastal setbacks are to be fully respected.
New developments should be carried out in harmony with coastal landscape while
protecting biodiversity, ecosystem integrity and natural and heritage resources (biotic,
cultural, historic, etc).
Areas for the development of public beaches must be designated in order to secure free
access of the general Omani public to the coastal areas.
All customary rights of local communities should be respected while developing the
coastal areas.
Development of new marinas within a 2 km-buffer of existing or already planned ones
is discouraged. In such cases, loading/unloading structures (e.g. jetties) are allowed.
Systems for controlling all types of marine pollution from coastal recreation facilities
must be established.
No direct discharge of waste or treated wastewater is allowed to the marine
In case the project utilizes a desalination plant, the brine may be discharged to deep
beach wells to protect the marine environment.
No development will be approved unless the developer has carried out detailed EIA
studies and environmental approvals have been granted.


8.2.1 Types of Coastal Areas and Setbacks

Ministerial Decree No. 20/90 establishes two main types of coastal areas, when dealing
with setbacks. These are:
1) Urban coastal areas (defined as having urban settlements on the city or village
2) Open coastal areas (defined as having no urban settlements and located outside of
their potential extension as determined by the Ministry of Housing)

Almost all ITCs are located within the open coastal areas category. Therefore, the
legal setbacks for such tourism developments should observe the following coastal
Area Description

Legal Setback* (meter)

Natural coasts with natural landscapes and seascapes, such

as rocky headlands and cliffs**


Sandy coasts and around khawrs


Stable coasts where urban development may not cause

serious impacts on the receiving environment


* Setbacks are measured horizontally from the highest tidal mark.

** Development within these areas is not permitted unless approvals are provided by the
Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Housing.
It should be noted however, that in rocky or cliff-shore fronts a reduced setback may
be adopted given that proper construction safety measures (slope stability/rock falls/
land slides) are fulfilled. Similar reduction may be adopted for narrow coastal plains
bounded by coastal mountains. Setbacks for such areas are to be determined by the
concerned authorities in coordination with the developer.
8.2.2 Beaches


Provisions for the public access to beaches should be considered.

The number of residents and temporary visitors should not exceed 5 persons per linear
meter of the sea front.
There should not be less than 15m2 beach for each resident at the ITC.
Swimming and marine sports areas should be separated and clear demarcations/signage
posted and respected.
Bathing water quality should be monitored regularly and any deviation from
international water quality standards (WHO standards) be dealt with immediately.
Only light structures should be allowed on the beach area with sufficient waste
management facilities.

The construction of marinas and artificial/created waterways can have a significant

impact on coastal resources and affect the value of adjacent coastal resources. These
impacts must be fully assessed before approvals are issued for these works.
Developers should be aware that the planning, licensing and operation of marinas and
created waterways are regulated by legislations that involve in addition to the MOT,
other government authorities.
Rules and regulations set by those authorities should be satisfied before the final
approval for such tourism components.

The principal guidance of MOT for the siting and development of marinas and created waterways
is summarized below.
a) Marinas

Proposed sites for marinas should be selected through a systematic process considering
alternatives and their environmental and cultural impacts.
Selection of appropriate designs that ensure proper flushing of waterways and prevent
marine pollution from land-based sources and recreational activities
Low Impact Development practices for storm/flood water management shall be
incorporated to the maximum practicable extent into the design of any new marina
Impacts of proposed marinas on coastal stability, coastal processes, marine and coastal
ecology should be addressed and dealt with before final approvals
Impacts of land-based livelihoods and customary rights (e.g. people relying on the
land for their residence and/or livelihoods) should be addressed and dealt with before
final approvals
Dredging programs should be selected to minimize to the extent possible impacts on
environmental resources
A full EIA is required; including hydrodynamic modeling to ensure proper design and
acceptable environmental impacts

b) Created waterways

Created waterways are defined as artificial channels, lakes or other bodies of water of
different shapes and configurations.
They may be closed or may include access channels and artificial channels subject to
the ebb and flow of the tide.

General Guidance for Created Waterways:

Design of created waterways should ensure proper flushing, high water quality
standards and public safety. Hydrodynamic modeling may be required to support
design and environmental impact assessments.
Slope stability and water table considerations should be sufficiently addressed in the
design phase.


Created waterways should not interfere with natural drainage/flood channels but could
be integrated with them
Appropriate buffer zones (set backs) should be observed around the created
In case the created waterways are connected to the sea, impacts on shoreline and
coastal/marine ecology and processes should be fully addressed
A full EIA is required including hydrodynamic modeling to ensure proper design and
acceptable environmental impacts

Specific Guidance for Waterways not connected to the Sea

Issues to be addressed include, but not limited to the following:

Care should be taken if the created waterways are in the floodway or flood fringe of
a stream. Special designs will be needed in this case with sufficient precautionary
Pollution impacts and debris buildup potential
Hydraulic impacts
Aesthetic impacts
Potential for connection of the pond due to bank washout.
Wildlife impacts (attraction of birds)
Aquatic nuisance problems (insects, mosquitoes, etc)

Specific Guidance for Waterways connected to the Sea

Connected waterways have the potential for serious detrimental effects. Because of the connection,
pollution in an enlargement may move directly into the main body of water.
Therefore, it is the policy of MOT to discourage this type of created waterways.
Points of concern which should be addressed in the permit review process include:


Fish and wildlife impacts.

Pollution impacts.
Hydraulic impacts during construction and operation stages
Aesthetic impacts.
Impacts of constructing
Maintenance of the junction between the natural water body and the enlargement.
Debris buildup potential in the enlargement.
Aquatic nuisance problems.
Stability of project- will it last with reasonable maintenance?
Impact on the use of the main waterway.
Adjacent land use

a. Slope Angle

Selecting a stable slope angle for the proposed new bank is very important and will
vary depending upon the soils at the site and the intended use of the area. A good
indicator of the suitability of the proposal is the surrounding slopes of the stable and
unstable areas.
The less cohesive the materials, the flatter the required slope. The stability of cohesion
less sand is dependent only on slope, while the stability of a cohesive material depends
upon slope and the vertical height. Generally the maximum slope which would be
allowable is 2:1.

b. Erosion control
The amount of erosion which can be expected is dependent upon the contributing drainage area/
amount of rainfall, the slope of the embankment, particle size and the tidal regime of the area.
One or a combination of the above may dictate the need for some of the following indicative
erosion control methods:

Seeding & mulching

Earthen dikes
Excelsior matting (artificial woven erosion control mats)
Gobi mats (perforated concrete mats through which vegetation can grow)
Gabions (rock-filled wire baskets)
Diversion ditching or sedimentation ponds
Leaving a buffer strip of vegetation

Note: No fishery uses are allowed in both types of created waterways.

8.3 Deserts and Wadis Development Control

Deserts are unique and fragile ecosystems.

The desert landscape raises concerns about drainage as the desert floor is made up
of intricate networks of drainage beds that may remain dry for months but become
pathways for flash floods after a rainfall.
Water scarcity should form a major planning factor in desert environments.
Local communities and indigenous people have to be respected and integrated into the
Development should provide planning that complements the desert environment,
selecting high-quality desert landscaping, encouraging low water-consumption, and
respecting the value and proportion of the surrounding topography without competing
for attention.
Building and rendering should use local material and blending colors as much as
Building heights should be carefully planned in order not to cause visual intrusion.


Native vegetation covers should be protected as they work against soil erosion and
provide food for animals.
Special attention should be paid to friendly systems of solid and liquid waste for both
aesthetic and environmental reasons.
Development should not be allowed within the wadi beds to protect development
Only light, easily dismantled structures may be allowed.
Grading or stepping may be used to prepare wadi shoulders for light development.
Wadi beds should be protected against pollutant infiltration into the soil and ground
The dynamic interactions betwen the two ecosystems shall be maintained.

8.4 Mountains Development Control

A mountain development requires a thorough understanding of the mountain

environment, its geologic processes and rhythms, its ecology and its value.
The development should not dominate the environment but rather coexist within it.
Mountain developments are often four season developments. As a result, planning
must carefully consider the implications of the seasonal changes on the development
Environmental sensitivity analyses are crucial aspects for mountain planning not only
for protection reasons but for marketing purposes as well.
Mountain flora and fauna should be protected along the height gradient.
Roads and driveways have to be designed to fit the topography and minimize impacts
to acceptable levels.
Location and siting of infrastructures should be selected carefully to avoid faults and
Some of the main aspects to be considered in mountain planning include:


Steep slopes, unstable slopes, and rock fall zones (slopes exceeding 30% are not
suitable for building).
Microclimatic conditions such as wind hazards.
Flooding and unstable surface water flows.
Sun orientation and shadows.

9. Surface water drainage and flood control

9.1 General

Surface water drainage and flood control measures are among the most important aspects
to be considered while planning for any urban development including tourism.
The Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources (MRMWR) is
responsible for the construction and maintenance of engineering works aimed to
control surface water drainage and flood water in all regions of the Sultanate of Oman,
except for Muscat and Salalah Governorates and Walayat Sohar. In these regions,
Muscat Municipality, Dhofar Governor and Sohar Development Office, respectively
are responsible for these issues.
MRMWR is responsible for monitoring of surface drainage and floods in addition to
its responsibility for the identification of areas at risk of flash floods and setting the
guidelines of urban development in such areas in coordination with other government

9.2 Objectives
The main objectives of setting surface drainage and flood control are:
Mitigate potential damage to assets and infrastructure
Avoid the malfunction of transportation
Protect human life
9.3 Design Guidelines for Surface Drainage and Flood Control
Design guidelines, and not standards, are provided here. Detailed designs for surface drainage and
flood control works should be developed for each tourism development individually in consultation
with the MRMWR and other concerned ministries. For ITCs, consultation on these issues should
be coordinated with the MOT.
9.4 Surface Drainage Systems

ITCs should include appropriate systems for the collection and drainage of local surface
water. Table 9.4.1 presents guidance on some recommended systems.
Such systems must be designed to allow proper drainage of water from roads, nearby
areas and lands which do not have direct drainage passages and may block drainage.
The detailed design for such systems should be based on the study of natural
characteristics of the area the degree of flood risk and the Flood Protection Guidelines
issued by the Supreme Council for Town Planning (Regulation no. 31/93).


9.4.1: Guidance for surface drainage systems

Local roads
Local streets

Type of Drainage Structures

Open channels parallel to roads
Culverts or tubes underground


Act as open drainage channels

Design Criteria
Frequency (5-10 years)

9.5. Flood Control

No development is allowed in areas exposed to high flash flood hazard without the
provision of appropriate flood control measures.
Flood channels (wadis) must be regularly cleaned and kept free of any debris blocking
free passage of flood water.
In addition, the Ministerial Decree no 20/90 concerning coastal setbacks should also
be observed when locating developments along the coastal stretch to protect them
against coastal floods (tidal waves/storm surges).
The effect of the sea on the hydrological capacity of the drainage wadis should also be
taken into consideration in the design phase.
New urban developments including ITCs should observe a setback of 150 m from the
highest tidal mark.

9.5.1 Guidance for Flood Control Systems

Flood control systems should be hydrologically designed to accommodate the maximum

flood event at its highest risk location.
The impact of floods should be considered early in the planning and design stages and
should consider international best practices and national guidelines.
The detailed design of flood control systems should consider and not be limited to the
a) Flood risk assessment
b) Analysis of alternative methods to select the most economically feasible solution
c) Assessment of impacts on flood control systems on nearby areas and assets and
compensation costs


Guidance for flood control systems

Type of Flood Control


Improved wadi channels

with drainage culverts

Drainage of highest water flows for flood protection

Protection works and

elevation of structures

Protect specific areas from flood water flows

Storage structures

Decrease maximum water flows to levels that could be

drained safely through culverts or other similar structures

Design Criteria

(10-100 years)

9.5.2 Road Crossing of Flood Channels

Road construction should not obstruct or change the natural course of flood channels
in order to protect local areas.
In case of main and secondary road crossings to flood channels (wadi), appropriate
measures should be implemented to allow sufficient transverse passage of the maximum
flood water.
General Road Design Standards (1994) should be observed when designing the
hydrological transverse wadi crossing for roads.
More details on the design standards are given in Decree no. 5/88 as amended by the
decree no. 31/93 dealing with temporary solutions for flood protection.

9.6 Downstream Erosion and Protection Measures

Tourism development plans within areas subject to surface drainage or flood events
must include measures to decrease the potential of slopes and /or channels from eroding
and impacting storm water runoff.
These erosion control measures may consist of the following:
a. Convey runoff safely from the tops of slopes and stabilize disturbed slopes.
b. Utilize natural drainage systems to the maximum extent practicable.
c. Stabilize permanent channel crossings.
d. Plant slopes with native or drought-tolerant vegetation, as appropriate.
e. Install energy dissipaters, such as rock, at the outlets of new storm drains, culverts,
conduits, or channels that enter unlined channels in accordance with applicable
specifications to minimize erosion, with the approval of all relevant agencies.

Developers should consult the MRMWR for surface drainage and flood risks data and maps
relevant to their project sites. This information should be used by their consultants in the early
planning phase in order to protect the development, natural ecosystems and human life.


Annex 1
List of concerned authorities
And their contact details


List of concerned authorities



Telephone Number

Ministry of Tourism

Directorate general of planning, follow up &


24588981 / 24588864

Ministry of Housing

Directorate general of town planning and sur24681402 / 24681199


Ministry of Regional
Municipalities & Water

Directorate general of technical affairs


Ministry of Environment
& Climate Affairs

Directorate general of environment affairs


Muscat Municipality

Directorate general of technical affairs


Dhofar Municipality

Directorate general of salalah municipality


Supreme Committee for

Town Planning

Directorate general of urban planning


Directorate general of civil defence


Directorate general of operation


Directorate general of traffic


Directorate general of ports


Royal Oman Police

Ministry of Transport &



Annex 2
Forms related to real estate ownership
In Integrated Tourism Complexes


Application for foreigners acquisition of real estate in

integrated tourism complexes
(1) Particulars of the Purchaser

Name of Purchaser (The applicant):

Passport No..
Place of issue:..
Date of issue:
Commercial Registration No. (If the purchaser is a company or a legal
Purchasers permanent address:.
Purchasers present address:..
Tel. No.:.
Name of spouse:.
Nationality. Passport No.:.

(2) Particulars of the Developer


Developers Name:..
project Name:.

(3) Particulars of the Seller


Name of Seller (Property owner):..

Passport/CR No.

(4) Particulars of the Property


Type of property: land prepared for building

Built unit
Plot No:..
plot area:
Property usage:..
Applicants signature:

For the use of the Real Estate Register Secretariat at the Ministry of Housing:
Approved for processing ownership of real estate in accordance to the order of ownership
in integrated tourism complexes
Not Approved

Secretary of the Real Estate Register




Annex 3
Procedures related to real estate ownership
in Integrated Tourism Complexes



Procedures for registration of sold real estate units

In integrated tourism complexes
First: Obligations of the Developer to Register the Real Estate Units:
Before requesting to register the Real Estate Units, which have been sold to purchasers, the
developer is obliged to meet the following requirements:
1. To arrange with the Director General of Town Planning and Survey at the Ministry of
Housing to approve the drawings of the Real Estate Units, for which Title Certificates
are required, by completing the relevant form prepared, for this purpose. Drawings must
be approved before completing sale procedures to a Third Party.
2. For the units that do not have separate Titles (such as apartments and attached houses), a
basic certified drawing need to be issued.
3. Duly fill in the application form relevant for non-Omani people to acquire real estate units
in ITCs and submit together with a detailed list of names, nationalities, plus purpose of
ownership usage, to the Real Estate Register Secretariat at the Ministry of Housing.
4. The registration application form shall be submitted by the developer, after obtaining the
approval of the drawings, and the following should be attached:
- A copy of the passports of those for whom the Title Certificates are required, along
with a copy of the labor card if they are present in the Sultanate.
- In case of shared registration, relevant documents to verify the first degree
relationship must be submitted.
Second: Registration of Real Estate Units in Integrated Tourism Complexes:
In case the land has an issued Title:
The registration application form of the real estate units in the name of the purchaser shall be
submitted to the Director of Legal Affairs at the Real Estate Register Secretariat and shall be
accompanied with the following documents:
1. Two copies of the Sale Contract in accordance with the Ministrys form, and the
presence of the seller and purchaser or their delegated agents is a must.
2. A copy of the approved drawing of the real estate and a copy of the Title.
3. A copy of the approval of the real estate ownership by a non-Omani in accordance
with the developers form.
4. An original and a copy of the buyers passport (if the buyer is a person). If the
application is by an authorized agent, an original and a copy of the passport plus
the approved Power of Attorney must be submitted.


5. If the buyer is a legal entity, a copy of the Company Board of Directors Resolution,
approving the purchase of the project real estate unit and a copy of the Commercial
Register must be submitted in addition to the designation of the authorized person
to complete the registration procedures on behalf of the legal entity.
In case the land is allocated according to the system of usufruct:
1. Provide the required documents mentioned-above except a copy of the Title if not
available. A copy of the usufruct contract of the land has to be submitted.
2. The developer is committed to obtain a letter from the Ministry of Tourism showing
the value of the square meter of the Land and the date of signing the Development
Agreement in order to calculate the amount of money that the Ministry of Housing
will charge for the transfer of governmental land from usufruct rights to direct
6% per annum, effective from the date of granting the usufruct up to the date of
registering the land in the buyers name, shall be added to the value per square
meter in the Development Agreement (determined by the MOT).
An Example:

The value of the square meter = 3 Rials

The period from the date of granting the usufruct to the date of registration
= 4 years

The added percentage = 6%

The increase in the value of the square meter =3x4x6%= 0.720 Rials

The value of the square meter = 3.000 + 0.720= 3.720 Rials.

Accordingly, for a land with a total area of 1000 square meters, governments
share will be as follows:
1000x3.720 = 3,720.000 Rials (three thousand seven hundred and twenty Rials)
Third: Organizational Procedures:
1. The non-Omani purchaser shall submit a statement to the Directorate General of
Town Planning and Survey at the Ministry of Housing which includes:
The permanent address of the purchaser and the current address in Oman
Names and addresses of his family and relatives of the first degree
Real estate properties which are owned by the purchaser in Oman
2. An approval from the developer is required before registering the real estate unit to
the next buyer in order to ensure that no financial obligations on the first purchase
are pending.
3. The value of the Real Estate Unit registration fees (3%) is calculated on the sale
value as stated in the sale agreement.


Annex 4
Request form for an Integrated Tourism
Development status



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Master Plan

MOT Review

6 Months

for the
Master Plan

6 Months


9 Months

Master Plan




6 Months


Administrative procedures for review and

approvals of tourism development complexes

Figure 1


MECA: Ministry of Environment & Climate Affairs

EIA: Environmental Impact Assessment

-Addresses impacts of a specific action

- In a specific site/location
- With specific details (specifications,
technologies, materials, etc)
- In a quantitative manner

Full eia

The developer prepares full eias for each of the

previously identified components to be reviewed
and approved by meca before the start of the
construction phase

Final master plan


MOT: Ministry of Tourism

- Addresses impacts of conceptual actions

- In broader areas/locations
- With general specifications
- Considering cumulative and interacting impacts
- In a qualitative manner


- Upon review, meca issues its prelimenary

environmental approval with conditions and a
list of full eias required for project components at
the final master plan level.

- The developer prepares a strategic

environmental assessment (sea) on the master
plan level and submits it to meca for approval

Preliminary master plan


SEA: Strategic Environmental Assessment

IEE: Initial Environmental Evaluation


- Is carried out as part of the fs.

- It ensures that environmental
Considerations are integrated into
The project planning/design
- Its scope and depth are limited
- It examines the proposed project & the existing
environmental conditions
- It recommends scope and tor for detailed studies


- Mot/meca to prepare a tor for the

Developer with a list of froposed
Project components which require
Detailed studies/considerations

- Mot to carry out an iee

In coordination with meca

Conceptual master plan


Suggested process for issuing

Environmental approvals for ITCS

Figure 2