Muscat: The new headquarters of Oman Commercial Arbitration Centre (OAC) was inaugurated, on Sunday under the auspices of Dr Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Justice and Legal affairs.

The ceremony was attended by Prince Dr Bandar bin Salman bin Mohammed Al Saud, Honorary Chairman of the GCC Commercial Arbitration Centre and Engineer Redha bin Juma Al Saleh, Board Chairman of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI).

The OAC provides some services related to arbitration, mediation and conciliation to settle domestic and international commercial disputes, in addition to other alternative dispute resolution means agreed upon by the disputing parties, Al Saleh said.

The vision of the Centre is to be a trusted choice for settling disputes using alternative means according to the best international standards and practices by embracing the values of integrity, impartiality, independence, governance, transparency, professionalism, speed and efficiency, he said.

The Centre, which was established by virtue of Royal Decree No. 26/2018, goes in line with Oman Vision 2040 directions. It supports the legislative environment and is considered to be a main pillar for encouraging investments and attracting capital to the Sultanate of Oman, he said.

We hope and strive to turn OAC into a beacon for boosting the trust of investors and business people in the commerce and investment sector in the Sultanate. We expect that the Centre will work hand in hand with other governmental institutions to attract more investments, as well as domestic, regional and international capital, he pointed out.

This in turn will contribute to achieving the desired economic, social and human growth in the Sultanate. Furthermore, it will support the outstanding legislative and investment environment in the Sultanate, Al Saleh added.

The Board Chairman of OCCI clarified that the Chamber has strived to establish this administratively and financially independent entity as soon as possible and to provide it with unlimited support to carry out its work and services. Immediately after the Royal Decree was issued, OCCI formed the founding committee of the Centre at the Chamber to complete the establishment of the Centre.

These efforts were culminated with the issuance of the OAC work system by virtue of decision no. 37/2019. After that, the first directors of OAC board were appointed.

Hamad bin Mohamed Al Sharji, Board Chairman of OAC, said: The Sultanate recognises the importance of arbitration and other alternative means for settling disputes particularly in the field of international trade. OAC attempts to mitigate the burdens suffered by our judicial authorities and seeks to streamline the arbitration procedures in the Sultanate.

OAC has achieved a tangible progress during the past two years by issuing the work system of the Centre. The rules of arbitration, mediation and conciliation were also developed, approved and published, in addition to the regulations and international decisions of OAC, he added.

Arbitration is important because it is a factor for attracting foreign investments across borders and continents. It also contributes in boosting the economic system, Al Sharji explained.

Arbitration also provides the entities that invest in the Sultanate with guarantees that are consistent with their orientations. International organisations have always requested adopting arbitration procedures because they save time and efforts, in addition to protecting capital and investments.

It is worth mentioning that OAC provides the necessary consultations and services for the procedures of settling commercial disputes. It also seeks to spread the culture of resolving trade disputes using alternative means. The Centre issues newsletters, publications and cooperates with relevant local, regional and international arbitration centers, entities and organisations.

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