Law Updates

OCCI Issues New Arbitration Centre Work System

The Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) published in this week’s issue of the Official Gazette a new Working System of Oman Commercial Arbitration Centre (OAC) that replaces the Working System of OAC of 2019.

The key substantive changes in the new OAC Working System relate to the board of directors of OAC, which used to be composed of 9 members, with at least 3 of them being law practitioners. The new OAC Working System reduces the size of the board to 5 members and removes the requirement for any of them to be law practitioners. Instead, all members of the board of directors of OAC are now required to have management skills and must speak English. The chairman and deputy chairman of the board are explicitly required to be able to speak and write in English.

According to our knowledge, this is the first time a governance framework published in the Official Gazette requires members of the board of any entity to speak English. This new OAC Working System is also interesting because it signals OCCI recognition that the role of the OAC Board is not a legal function, but a strategic one.

The new OAC Working System also grants OCCI the power to dissolve the board if it fails to meet for a period exceeding 3 months or if it commits any grave violation. The new system also clarifies the fact the Labour Law applies to the employees of OAC and imposes new oversight responsibilities to the CEO of OAC.

The new OAC Working System entered into force on 5 November 2023. You can read it in full in English on the link below: