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Wednesday, 13 April 2016

GAFI announces launch of land privatization committee and one-stop shop policy

Could it be? Is the single-window land allocation process working? We’ve been writing variations on this headline for 15 years now, so please forgive us for not holding our collective breath. The land sale committee at the General Authority for Investment and Free zones (GAFI) has officially been launched, GAFI’s Alaa Omar announced. The launch of the committee, which is charged with tendering land to investors, is being touted by Omar as the first concrete step toward a one-stop shop system for land allocation, Al Shorouk reports. Omar thanked the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) and the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) for cooperating with GAFI and allowing it to tender land under their respective control. GAFI and NUCA had established a placeholder system to jointly tender land to clear a backlog of requests until the single window system under the 2015 investment act came into effect. Things have not gone so smoothly with the TDA (which sought cabinet approval to tender land on its own) or with the Industrial Development Authority (which announced late last month that it would independently issue regular land tenders, a violation of the Investment Act).

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