I've seen how it works when a high ranking Muscat Municipality official built a massive house next to the one I was renting in MQ a few years ago.
Typically, the official would design a house and start construction with some third or forth grade contractor and a small time consultant. Then you notice that Muscat Municipalities come to the site to supervise the construction, sometimes every day. Then you notice that sometimes the construction workers aren't from the same company whose name is on the board. Sometimes they blatantly come in a bus with the name of the big time construction company that they actually work for (these days there's a house being built for a big time government official in Ghobra (not Muscat Municipality) which is being built by Galfar construction workers even though the name on the board is of an known third grade company). As the project progresses you notice the different subcontractors are all companies that are either working on Muscat Municipality projects at the same time, or those who have recently completed a project for them. Some would contribute in-kind. Like for example the company that supplies the interlock tiles for a road project will also bring some for the house as well. The company that's paving a road for the municipality will also come pave in front of the house, and so on. Sometimes it's a really slow process, you build whenever you get a contractor who is willing to put some workers in your house. But you're getting a house more or less for free.
It's so blatant it's not even funny.
I guess, its especially not funny when the land was bought cheap (or even gifted to you) and then magically power and roads appear. And the materials are paid for under a MM contract...