Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council has reportedly reiterated last year’s decision preventing expatriates from owning property, real estate or locations within the boundaries of Makkah, Madinah and Riyadh.
Saudi Gazette cited the council as saying the decision was aimed to prevent harm against the two holy cities while preserving the investment environment in the kingdom.
The council called for severe punishment against violators of the decision, which is aimed at ending the practice of expats doing business in the name of Saudis.
Saudi real estate agents welcomed the decision and said it would not impact real estate prices in the kingdom, according to the publication.
“The decision will protect the two holy cities and the capital city against investors with hidden agenda,” real estate expert Mansour Abu Rayyash was quoted as saying.
Others pointed to the kingdom’s economic cities and other towns and cities in which foreign investors can obtain property and the positive economic returns of investment by Saudi nationals.
“The proceeds will be spent inside the country instead of migrating abroad,” Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry real estate committee member Abdullah Al-Ahmari was quoted as saying.