Definitions

In the application of the provisions of this Edict, unless the context requires otherwise, the following words and expressions shall have the meanings assigned opposite each:

Construction: The process of building, preparation for building, division of land in preparation for the construction of buildings or land reclamation for building or excavation for mining, carrying out any operation above or under the ground nor making any significant change in the use of buildings, land areas or spaces inside a plot of land.

Construction Areas: Areas which shall be subject to the zoning regulations for construction in various parts of the Kingdom provided for herein.

Construction Land Areas: Land areas that are suitable for construction and are approved by general and detailed planning thereof and overlook one or more usable and accessible roads, provided that such roads are linked to the road network and public utilities.

Private Residential Area: Residential areas permitted to be occupied by one or more residential units on each plot of land with low or medium building density.

Connected Residential Area: Residential areas which are in the centre of cities, villages and their extensions permitted to be occupied by one or more residential units connected from one or more sides and of medium or high building density.

Garden Residential Area: A residential area situated outside the boundaries of towns and villages and has a low building density.

Industrial Areas: Areas intended for all kinds of industrial and manufacturing purposes in which processed and semi-processed raw materials are converted into other products.

Agricultural Areas: Areas intended for agricultural purposes and a related activity such as greenhouses, nurseries, cattle sheds, stables and development of animal resources.

Green Belt: Areas intended for agricultural activities only with the aim of maintaining and developing it in order to protect the surrounding environment. .

Villa (Residential House): A separate or connected building comprising a living room, bedroom, dining room, sanitary utilities, closed and open spaces and has its own entrances and internal staircase, if any, separately from any other residential house.

Outbuildings: Utilities intended for serving the residence such as an outside kitchen, watchman's room, outside majlis, washing room, stores and similar facilities whether ~connected to or separate from the main building.

Building Appurtenances: Utilities that serve a building (such as a residential, commercial or similar building) and include the watchman's room, gas cylinder room, substations for the building, utilities, stores and similar facilities situated whether connected to the main building or separate therefrom.

Flat: Every part of a floor constituting a residential unit that is separate from the remaining floors and consisting of one room or more and includes a minimum of a kitchen and bathroom. Its occupants may have ingress to or egress therefrom without going through another residential unit on the same floor or in the same building.

Shop: A building which is open to a public footpath or an approved public road with one front or more, and it is permitted to be used for commercial activities as shall be specified by the approved construction plans.

Residential Garden Compound: It is a plot of land overlooking an approved road comprising villas, residential houses, services, utilities, and a garden and common open footpath. Each compound may have one entrance or more.

Building: A separate building overlooking an approved road consisting of several stories, residential flats, business suites or independent business premises that are combined or separate in the entrances, staircase and lifts.

Building Percentage: The maximum percentage allowed for the total building surfaces in relation to the land area.

Building Surfaces: Built-up areas of all floors of a building or buildings situated within a plot of land measured from the outside of external walls or from the line dividing the common wall. Such built-up areas shall include the following:

  1. A surface of all floors in the building's closed spaces including towers.

  2. Spaces arising from constructional elements that may become habitable areas.

  3. All built spaces that have not been excluded when calculating the built spaces.

Mezzanine Floor: An excluded floor including part of the height of the ground floor whether it is a retail outlet, factory, workshop or service facility, provided that its building percentage shall not exceed 70% (seventy percent) of the ground floor area. It shall be intended for storage, management, offices and business purposes. It shall not be directly accessible from outside. Its entrance shall be from the ground floor level and its height shall not be more than 2.60 meters (Two meters and sixty centimetres), provided that the height of the ground floor including the mezzanine floor shall not be more than 6 meters (Six meters).

Building Recession Areas: Areas between the property's boundaries and the building line of each of the building's facades. Types of recessions are as follows:

  1. Front Recession: Minimum distance between the property's boundary overlooking a road and the building line of the fa'ade overlooking it on the ground floor and all floors unless upper projections are allowed.

  2. Side Recession: Minimum distance between the property's boundary overlooking a side neighbouring property parallel to the front facade and the building line of the face overlooking it, whether the neighbouring property is a plot of land, garden, empty space or footpath on the ground floor and all floors unless upper projections are allowed.

  3. Rear Recession: Minimum distance between the property's boundary overlooking a rear neighbouring property on the side opposite to the front facade and building line of the fa'ade overlooking it, whether the neighbouring property is a plot of land, garden, empty space or footpath on the ground floor and all floors unless provision is allowed for upper projections.

Building Height: The vertical dimension in front of a building's fa'ade overlooking a rear neighbouring property from the side which is opposite the front facade and the building line of the facade overlooking it, whether the neighbouring property is a plot of land, garden, empty space or footpath.

It is measured from the centre of the building's facade in case of sloping streets. The vertical dimension measurement shall not include parapets, domes and minarets in religious buildings, stairwells, lift machinery rooms, water tanks and air-conditioners, if any, where heights not exceeding 7 meters (Seven meters) are permitted above the roof of the upper floor.

Building Line: A line defining the area in which building is permitted on the ground floor inside the plot of land. It may be identical to the planning line (if any) or may recede from the road border, street, garden or footpath by recessions to be determined by the zoning regulations for the facades overlooking them.

Planning Line: A line to which a building recedes as shown by the approved detailed plans whereby it separates between privately owned property and public property.

Road Axis: A line specifying the middle of the road width.

Road Border: A line specifying the middle of the road's width from one side of the road centre. Each road has two borders.

Road Boundary: It means the space between the road borders and includes viewing angles, intersections and spaces reserved for public utilities along the road.

Footpaths and Service Paths: A space which separates properties and road borders and is used for pedestrian or service traffic, or both. Vehicular traffic shall not be permitted through them.

Covered Car Parks: Areas intended as car parks provided with covers to protect vehicles from all external elements.

Uncovered (Open) Car Parks: Areas intended as car parks but have no roofs.

Multi-storey Car Parks: A single storey or parts of multi-storey building or separate buildings intended to be used as car parks.

Approved Commercial Street: A Street where shops are allowed to open in the buildings overlooking it according to the approved development plans.

Approved Service Street: A Street where service workshops are allowed to open in the buildings overlooking it according to the approved development plans.

Service Workshop: A building within a plot of land connected to one or more approved footpath or Commercial Street where it is permitted to be used for service activities.

Approved Development Plans: General and detailed plans of the area in which development is permitted according to the decision of the Minister concerned with Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture. They include determination of the development areas in whose land the zoning regulations set forth in this Edict shall be applicable. They also show the public roads, planning lines, if any, open areas and areas in which development is permitted according to special development and construction conditions as well as the areas in which development is postponed.

Site Development Planning Approval: It is a certificate issued by the General Directorate of Urban Planning approving the validity of the site for development, at the request of the owner of the land or property.

Special Regulations Areas: Areas that are near major landmarks, archaeological, historical or religious areas or areas designed for significant planning purposes and are defined by plans for classification of development areas in the Kingdom or which are determined by an order of the Minister concerned with Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture in accordance with article (20) of the said law for Building Regulation.

Areas for Projects with a Special Nature: There are areas for non-standard projects that are not governed by provisions of the Zoning Regulations as set forth in this Edict. They may be set up in areas for which general or detailed development plans have been prepared or in open areas where no plans have been prepared. For the approval thereof, specialized studies shall be prepared incorporating the following:

  1. Construction planning effects of the projects on contiguous areas.

  2. Traffic effects on the existing road network on various levels.

  3. Environmental and Marine effects.

  4. Social, Cultural and Economic effects.

  5. Any other studies required for deciding upon the project's application.

A project shall be considered with a special nature in view of the required development of plans to absorb its construction requirements including the development of the road network and facilities situated in the land areas neighbouring it.

Areas with a Special Development Nature: Archaeological or Historic areas or areas introduced to have their own distinctive nature. Upon the application of the requirements set forth in this Edict, the special development conditions of such areas shall be complied with in addition to ensuring the planning aspects in terms of providing car parks and maintaining the architectural style of their buildings.