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Saudi Arabia's final tax rules on undeveloped land in two weeks

Saudi Arabia will announce the final regulations on an annual tax on undeveloped urban land in two weeks, the housing minister said on Wednesday.

“Land fees are now complete and have been studied by all concerned entities and within the next two weeks, we will announce it," Majed Al Hogail said at a press conference.

The ministry has said the new tax would be equivalent to 2.5 percent of the value of the land held by individuals or non-government entities.

The introduction of a land tax, first announced by the cabinet in November, marks a big step for the world's top oil exporting country in addressing a housing shortage frequently griped about by young Saudis.

Analysts estimate that 40 to 50 percent of the land inside major cities remains vacant, much of it owned by wealthy individuals or companies that have tended to hold or trade it for speculative profits rather than developing it for housing.

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