Foreigners prohibited from owning land in Sinai

Liliana Mihaila
2 Min Read

Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi issued a decree banning the ownership and any form of utilization of lands in areas of strategic military importance.

The decree included areas around the eastern border of Egypt for a distance of 5 miles west, except the city of Rafah.

The decree 203 for 2012 was released on Sunday and published in the official gazette.

It also prohibits possession, utilization or rent in territories and property located in the islands in the Red Sea, natural reserves and archaeological sites.

Article II of the decree stated that only Egyptian citizens whose parents are also Egyptian can own land in the Sinai Peninsula.

Legal persons can also own land in Sinai but only if their capital belongs to Egyptian citizens who bear no other nationality.

Article III prohibits non-Egyptian citizens from owning any land or buildings in Sinai with respect to the provisions of law number 14 of 2012.

The law states that non-Egyptians can own the buildings without owning the land; they also have the right to use the buildings for residence for 50 years maximum in accordance with provisions of the law.

Article IV of the decree states the need to obtain the approval of both the defence and interior ministries as well as the General Intelligence Service (GIS) before exercising the right to use or own Buildings.

In October, Prime Minister Hesham Qandil announced that people of Sinai would be allowed to own land in the Peninsula.

Qandil’s announcement stirred public opinion, as there were fears buyers of this land could be financed by or sell lands to Israelis or Palestinians.

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