Monday, April 21, 2014

Compliance With Advertising Regulations

Ministerial Decision 143/2000 defines advertisement as “any writing, painting or picture prepared for publicity, propaganda or guidance to the name of a commercial, industrial or professional shop, product, service or any other business. An advertisement may be fixed, mobile, lighted by power or not lighted, hung or one prepared for printing or distribution among citizens.”


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Whistleblowing Policy in Oman

Whistleblowers play a key role in exposing corruption, fraud, incorrect financial reporting and other wrongdoing in every business and public agency. Usually the first people to suspect unlawful or improper conduct are those who work within or with the organisation. A typical organisation loses five percent of its revenues to fraud each year1 and the longer the misconduct lasts, the more money the company or organisation will stand to lose.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Legal Updates

Ministerial Decision issuing Executive Regulations of Al Mazyoona Free Zone

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued Ministerial Decision No. 3/2014 issuing regulations for the operations of Al Mazyoona Free Zone. We are in the process of analyzing the regulations and may have an article in the coming month.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Leave Entitlement Under Labour Law

The Omani Labour Law (promulgated by Royal Decree 35/2003, as amended) (“OLL”) covers leave entitlements available to employees working in Oman.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

UN Convention Against Corruption and Anti-Money Laundering

Last month, we discussed Oman’s ratification of the UN Convention against Corruption (the “UN Convention”) endorsed by Royal Decree 64/2013; the existing legislations in Oman against corruption; and the measures to be adopted by the Government in the public sector, private sector and the judiciary to prevent corruption in accordance with the guidelines specified in the UN Convention. In this article, we summarise certain aspects of Oman’s existing legislation relating to anti-money laundering and discuss the link between provisions of the existing legislation and the UN Convention.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mediation Process: An Overview

Although mediation remains a largely unexplored dispute resolution mechanism throughout much of the GCC, it could certainly be a useful method for disputing parties to reach an amicable and expeditious resolution. This article will provide an overview of the mediation process, the role of the mediator, and will briefly discuss some of the benefits to mediation.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act

FATCA stands for The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) which was approved by the US Congress in March 2010. The law was scheduled to become effective from 1st January 2014, but the effective date has been postponed until 1st July 2014. This sweeping new law and its extraterritorial application is already influencing the behavior of Omani and other GCC banks and financial institutions and imposing structural, legal and commercial challenges on them to be compliant.


Monday, March 31, 2014

Legal Updates

Ministerial Decisions Stops the Issuing of fresh visas to non-Omanis

The Ministry of Manpower issued two Ministerial Decisions No. 617/ 2013 and 618/2013 regulating certain professions. As per MD 617/2013, no work permits will be issued for a period of six (6) months to private sector companies whose core business activities are:  carpentry workshops, aluminum workshops, blacksmithing workshops and brick factories. This decision is not applicable to establishments registered under the excellent grade category and the international grade companies. The decision is effective from 1 January 2014.

MD 618/2013 provides that non-Omanis will not be issued work permits to work as car engineers, debt collectors, cashier and storekeepers.  MD 618/2013 does not specify any period of time for this restriction. The MD also does not specify that establishments registered under excellent grade category and international grade companies are excluded. The decision is effective from 1 January 2014.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Warranties Under the Civil Code

The Omani Civil Code, promulgated by Royal Decree 29/2013, has provided clarity and guidance on several key facets of commercial and civil transactions. One key area relates to warranties.

This article provides an overview in this regard.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Liability of Directors in Omani Companies

The Code of Corporate Governance

The Code of Corporate Governance (the “Code”) issued by the Capital Markets Authority and the Commercial Companies Law of Oman (promulgated by RD 4/74, as amended, “Company Law”) outlines the responsibilities of ‘Directors’ in Omani Companies and the liabilities which extend to them in this position. The Company Law applies to all joint stock companies and the Code is mandatory but only applies to public companies listed on the Muscat Securities Market.