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‘No barrier on non-Kuwaiti families residing in private and model housing areas’ – Governor’s proposal criticized

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KUWAIT CITY, Dec 14: “According to the legislation and regulations currently in force in Kuwait Municipality, there is no legal barrier preventing non-Kuwaiti families from residing in private and model housing areas,” reports Al-Qabas daily quoting the Director of the Legal Department in Kuwait Municipality Raj’an Al-Ghareeb as saying. This came in response to the proposal presented by the Capital Governor Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled for the amendment of Decree 125/1992, which prohibits non-families from residing in private and model housing, so that it includes non-Kuwaiti families. Al-Ghareeb explained that the prohibition contained in the decree restricts nonfamilies only.

Despite the intentions of the decree to address the social, security and economic problems arising from non-families staying in those areas, the law does not limit such a restriction to a certain nationality. The proposal to introduce a legislative amendment that prevents non-Kuwaiti families from residing in private and model housing areas cannot be taken into account because it contradicts the laws and regulations currently in force in the country in the following manner:

1. It is in conflict with the provisions of the right of ownership regulated by the Civil Code, which gives the owner the right to dispose, use and exploit his property within the limits of the applicable regulations.

2. It contradicts the provisions of Law No. 1/2004 that treats GCC nationals as Kuwaitis in terms of owning land and real estate properties built in the State of Kuwait, especially since the proposal is based on a general idea of preventing any non- Kuwaiti family from residing in private and model areas in order to preserve the Kuwaiti identity, customs and traditions, while Gulf families are very similar to Kuwaiti society in customs and traditions, due to which there is no acceptable justification for banning them from staying in private and model housing areas.

3. It contradicts the provisions of decree No. 74/1979 that regulates the ownership of real estate by non-Kuwaitis, and allows Arabs and foreigners to own real estate designated for the headquarters of their embassies, consulates, delegations and diplomatic missions, and the residence of the head of the diplomatic mission and its members in all residential areas organized in the State of Kuwait without exception.

It also allows an Arab to own one property in the State of Kuwait in accordance with the conditions set forth in the aforementioned law. Al-Ghareeb stressed that there is no objection to non-Kuwaiti families residing in the areas of private and model housing as the law allows a group of them to own real estate in the State of Kuwait. He explained that the proposal prohibits the residence of any non-Kuwaiti family in the areas of private and model housing in order to preserve the Kuwaiti identity, customs and traditions.

However, many Arab families are very similar to Kuwaiti society in customs and traditions. The Constitution of Kuwait, in its first article, stipulates that the people of Kuwait are part of the Arab nation. This is aimed to strengthen the bonds of Arab unity, and therefore there is no acceptable justification for banning their stay in private and modular housing areas.

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