Monday, November 11, 2019

Enforcement of Awards, Part 2: Enforcing an Arbitral Award


This article sets out the procedure under Omani law for enforcing an arbitral award, whether it be in Oman or abroad.

After an arbitration is concluded and an award is rendered by a tribunal, the award cannot be enforced immediately.  First, the party seeking enforcement will need to have the award executed by a court in Oman before it will be considered final and in turn enforceable in Oman.

Enforcement of an award in Oman

Under Omani law, once an award is rendered, the losing party has a 90-day period to commence proceedings to have an award annulled.  Once the 90-day period has lapsed without proceedings having been commenced to annul the award, or after the rejection by the court of the annulment application, an application can be made to the Oman courts to have the award executed.

The procedures for the annulment and the execution of an award are similar to the procedures in other countries that are party to the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (New York, 10 June 1958) (the “New York Convention”).

Enforcement is initiated by giving the debtor notice of the enforcement proceedings.  Notice can be effected by in-person service or service at the debtor’s domicile or place of business.  The notification must include the required particulars and the order to the debtor to pay within seven days as of date of the notification.

The whole process of enforcement can take from seven months to one year in court.

Enforcement of an Omani arbitration award abroad

If the party that the award is being enforced against does not have assets in Oman, the award may be enforced in a foreign country that is also a signatory to the New York Convention.  Currently there are 159 countries that are parties to the New York Convention, including Oman.  Below is a general procedure overview of how a foreign award is enforced under the New York Convention.

The New York Convention facilitates the enforcement of awards in countries that are signatories to the New York Convention.  Once an award is binding and enforceable in the country where it is rendered, the award is then enforceable in other signatories to the New York Convention.  Not only is the award enforceable but, owing to the reciprocal nature of the New York Convention, the award will not be subject to stringent confirmation procedures in the country of enforcement.  It should be noted that there is a general (rebuttable) presumption that, once an award is final where it is rendered, it will be enforceable in a foreign country.

When enforcing a foreign award, Article IV of the New York Convention requires several basic formal requirements to be met in order for a foreign court to enforce an award under the New York Convention.  This includes the submission of:  the original award, the arbitration agreement and translations if necessary.  These requirements have been universally transposed into domestic legislation of the parties to the New York Convention.

When an application for the enforcement of a foreign award is made, the court in the foreign country must apply the same grounds for the enforcement of the foreign award that it would apply to a domestic award.  Generally these follow the grounds in the New York Convention.  However, it is permissible for countries to adopt “local standards” so long as the process for enforcement of foreign awards is not more onerous then the enforcement of domestic awards.

The narrow grounds for setting aside an award are listed in Article V of the New York Convention.

It should be noted that the grounds for refusing to enforce an award are the same as denying execution.  In light of this, if an award has been granted execution/confirmation where it is rendered, it is unlikely to be refused enforcement elsewhere under the New York Convention.  In light of the above, it can be said that once an award has been executed in Oman, it is relatively straightforward to have that award enforced abroad.

Lastly, it should be noted that the enforcement of a foreign award in Oman follows the same process.


While arbitral awards in Oman are not enforceable immediately after they are rendered, the enforcement of awards in Oman is a relatively straightforward process.  Likewise, the process for the enforcement of an Omani award in a foreign country is a relatively straightforward process through the New York Convention.