By: Swapna Tarafdar

MUSCAT: The Municipal Council is planning to study commercial-cum-residential buildings in Muscat governorate in a bid to know if their mixed use is helping businesses without inconveniencing residents. Select buildings in some areas of the capital will be covered in the study.

“We want offices to be located in buildings in commercial areas that have more accessibility and visibility. This will help these businesses to earn more revenues. The other aim is to ensure safety of residents,” a Municipal Council official said.

He said that many properties in Oman have both residences and offices. “A resident of a building may not be comfortable having an office on his floor which is visited by hundreds of people during the day. On the other hand, say a courier company may not do good business if it’s located in a building that has more residences than offices.” The official said that the study will also focus on parking issues near such buildings. “If a building has offices and residences, it will need more parking space.”

He said that car showrooms in Wattayah were a very good example of commercial use-only buildings. “All showrooms are in one place that is easily visible, accessible and has ample parking lots.” He added, “We want buildings which have more offices to be located on main roads so that they generate more business. Offices and residences can be in the same buildings but not in all areas.” The study will be carried out in cooperation with the ministries of housing, commerce and industry among others.