Property to be auctioned if no eligible heirs

Rules for use of properties by Premium Residency holders in Makkah, Madinah set out


By Adnan Shabrawi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — The Ministry of Justice has issued a circular to approve the specific regulations for the mechanism for transactions of properties by holders of Premium Residency in Makkah and Madinah.

The approval was made after special mechanisms for this have been worked out by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Commerce.

Okaz/Saudi Gazette obtained copies of the regulations that specify the provisions for the rights to use properties by Premium Residency holders in the holy cities.

They can have the right to use the properties in exchange for compensation, donation, or endowments or such other means with the condition that these shall not be in violation of the Kingdom’s rules and regulations.

In the event of the death of a Premium Residency holder who has residential properties in Makkah and Madinah and none of his family members met the conditions to possess a Premium Residency, in such cases the Premium Residency Center has to take measures, in coordination with the concerned authorities, to sell his rights through a public auction.

This shall be in line with the rules and regulations after confirming that his heirs are not in a position to handle his properties. If the assignee wants to endow his right in the property, it shall be confirmed in line with the endowment rules and regulations prevailing in the country.

According to the regulations, the whole or part of commercial or industrial property can be transferred if the assignee is a holder of a Premium Residency or foreign investment license prescribed by the law.

If the assignee is a Saudi, the relevant statutory provisions shall apply. In both cases, the assignor and the assignee shall pay the taxes and fees prescribed in the law.

The regulations also stressed that an electronic register shall be established in the Premium Residency Center, and that will be technically linked with the competent notary public in a way ensuring that all the property deals are being made strictly in line with the rules and regulations, especially the foreign investment law and executive regulations.

It is noteworthy that the Premium Residency Center recently announced granting of the Premium Residency to the first batch of applicants — 73 in number, who met the criteria. The center said that the first batch consists of applicants who are already residing in Saudi Arabia and applicants from abroad and they belonged to 19 nationalities.

They represent a wide spectrum of professions including investors, doctors, engineers or financiers who want to enjoy living in Saudi Arabia with their families. The center said that it has received thousands of applications through its online portal from within and outside the Kingdom in the past few months.

These applications are handled by a specialized team that analyze and communicate with the applicants to ensure a smooth application process in accordance with the Premium Residency regulations.

There are two types of residency: Permanent Premium Residency with a one-time fee of SR800,000 ($213,301), and an annual renewable Premium Residency with an annual fee of SR100,000.