Land ownership is often a contentious issue in Saudi Arabia, particularly in and around the major cities. Sometimes, outright fraud happens; other times, those with power or connections simply claim properties and challenge the true owner to do something about it.
In Jeddah, reports Saudi Gazette, the government is trying to straighten out the mess. True ownership of land which the government sold or granted is being ascertained. Malfeasors are being kicked off the property and the structures they’ve built are being demolished.
Govt-granted plots reclaimed from land thieves
JEDDAH – Authorities have freed 20 million sq.m. of government land grants from the grip of land thieves in Jeddah.
As a result, at least 3,000 rightful owners will get their government-granted lands back within the next few days, said Sameer Ba-Sabrin, director of the Land Violations Office at Jeddah Mayoralty. Illegal buildings or farms found on such lands in the south and north of Jeddah are being demolished, he said.
The action followed complaints from the rightful owners. Consequently, a committee of members from Jeddah Mayoralty, Police and Governorate conducted a survey of government land grants in the city’s outskirts four months ago.
The operation started with Developed Land 707 which had been given away to citizens along with ownership titles. The committee found that land grabbers had changed the original 707 layout, divided the plots among themselves and moved in as the original owners had not occupied their properties.