During the last decades, the oil-producing Arab countries of the Gulf have undergone many socioeconomics changes. It had a considerable impact on urban spaces in terms of forms, functions and structures. The traditional social structures of cities were completely changed. Consequently, a new configuration appeared, essentially determined by new economic criteria of localization.In Muscat, capital of the Sultanate of Oman, the emergence of new social relations led to a spatial mobility of the households in function of their purchasing power of building lands or houses.However, in a country where the land is publicly owned and which is sold officially at a unique and fixed price, the dynamism of a parallel land market lets foretell a segregationist division of the inhabited areas or in the currently urbanizing spaces. Therefore, the practices of production and structuring of space seem to escape the spirit of the urban policy and to contradict the will of a regulation legislated by public authority.The new configuration of the urban space seems henceforth as the product of a contradiction between the public will, the private sector and the interests of land speculators.The strategies and tactics of the urban end-product private producers are conducive to a new urban reality. Muscat city is witnessing a shift from fragmentation, tribal and even ethnic division that had prevailed until the beginning of 1970s, to a polarization and socioeconomic stratification.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)