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Twenty Northeastern University students representing family businesses from around the world, together with professors, panelists, ABA students, and OABC board members, participated in the Oman Family Business Forum, organized by the Oman American Business Center on March 5. The event was sponsored by the Grand Hyatt Muscat.

Members of the OABC participated a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Greg Collier, Professor of Practice at Northeastern University, and answered questions designed to encourage and impart knowledge to the students, each of whom are about to graduate and possibly enter their own family businesses.

Non-family CEO’s in Oman shared about their personal experience in serving family businesses, from the unique opportunities presented, to the differences between such organizations and other corporate structures. Other CEOs discussed their partnerships or joint ventures with family-run companies, and the importance of shared values and cultural understanding in business.

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Panelists discussed the significance of gaining industry experience upon graduation, before returning to work in the family business, and each left the students with some closing remarks about their futures, regardless of paths chosen.  Mark Rix, CEO of Apex Media, encouraged the students to “Never stop learning, no matter your age or how long you work — there is always more to learn.”

Students from the American British Academy were also invited to attend and benefit from the wealth of knowledge in the room.

“We are thrilled with the willingness of our members, each of whom are busy executives, to offer their time and support during a critical point in these students’ lives,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “Providing a space for the exchange of ideas and the building up of understanding is a key objective of the OABC. We are grateful for the opportunity to host these students from a top U.S. university, and also to discuss a topic of such great importance and interest to the Oman business community.”

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OABC member Mr. Sadiq Al Lawati, local entrepreneur and restauranteur, took time out to chat over coffee with Omani entrepreneurs who are participants in the Wasel program @omifco_sme_prog.

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The entrepreneurs all have existing restaurant and retail stores throughout Oman and are in the process of franchising in Oman and the GCC. As the franchisee of successful local venues such as Slider Station, Shaabestan, b&f diner and Haagen-Dazs, Mr. Al Lawati shared his insights and experience in the areas of demographic analysis and site selection, product development in Oman, and general franchisee-franchisor relations in Oman and the region.

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The Wasel program is financed by the Oman India Fertilizer Company (OMIFCO) and is managed by OABC member firm, Inspired Solutions. The program targets existing Omani SMEs which are seeking growth capital and prepares them to become investment ready.



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An event on Wednesday brought together youths, SMEs, environment groups and the business community with the common goal of sharing ideas on how to protect the environment.

Participants said that as Oman is endowed with pristine natural beauty, everyone needs to play their part to protect it. A call was made for people and businesses to care about the environment.

Oman American Business Center (OABC) and Apex Media organised Sustainability Fair at Grand Hyatt Muscat to raise awareness by bringing together different communities.

Awareness is the key
“Awareness starts at an early age and we can learn from the creativity and ideas of younger generations. Global Shapers Muscat helped to organise this event. Established through the World Economic Forum, it is a network of future leaders of Oman under the age of 30 working together with young people to explore how they can change their communities for the greater good,” Marla Valdez, member of OABC, said.



Many of the participating organisations were legacies of the Late Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s vision for Oman. This included The Oman Botanic Garden which is a word-class development project to cultivate study and conserve Oman’s rich native flora, Oman Animal & Plant Genetic Resources Center established to protect Oman’s globally significant genetic diversity of animals, plants and micro organisms and be’ah, whose mission is to work towards sustainable waste management practices.

Joining hands with communities
Marla said that, ‘we are blessed to live in a country with such beautiful oceans, deserts, mountains and natural habitats’. “We hope that by bringing together various disparate members of the community in Oman it will generate dialogue and hopefully inspire further collaboration on common cause initiatives.

We believe that we are stewards of the environment and by raising awareness we can, as a community, help protect Oman’s environment. We also believe that everyone in our community has a role to play, and no contribution to the preservation of our environment is too small or insignificant.”



Responsibility to protect environment
H H Sayyida Tania bint Shabib al Said, president of Environment Society of Oman (ESO) was the guest of honour at the event.
ESO, a non-profit organisation was established to protect and conserve Oman’s natural heritage.

“As a founding board member and president of ESO, I am hugely supportive of today’s agenda, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability in Oman and to explore ways in which we can all work together to foster a culture of sustainability,” Sayyida Tania said.

She stressed that the responsibility of protecting our environment is with all of us and ‘encouraged everyone to think about the lifestyles they lead and the decisions they make as consumers’. Sayyida Tania highlighted the important role that students must play as environmental campaigners for a sustainable future. “You are the future custodians of our planet and it is your ideas that will shape what our future looks like.”

Apex Media was the media partner of the event because of its commitment to the environment through initiatives such as the ‘Bitter About Litter’ and recycling campaigns.

Find more pictures on our Facebook page.


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OABC’s first networking event of 2020 ‘New Year, New Opportunities’ was sponsored by Qatar Airways. The event was held at the Crowne Plaza Muscat on Monday, February 24th. The evening brought together over 120 members of the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman), from member executives to Oman’s decision-makers. The evening shared great moments of connection with members of the OABC, old and new, over canapes, drinks and the most spectacular view in town.

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Members and executives from the business community were joined by Stephanie Hallet, US Deputy Chief of Mission to Oman as a special guest of honour.

Emmee Haun, OABC Co-Founder highlighted the company’s growth over the past years, she also thanked Qatar Airways for their membership, support towards the OABC community and their generous sponsorship of the event. Qatar Airways gifted two raffle tickets to the US and provided branded giveaways to all of OABC members.

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Qatar Airways’ Beyond Business program was highlighted and OABC members learned of ways to receive greater benefits through the unique rewards program.

The evening was also complete with a jazz band and lots of nibbles. As always, we also give thanks to our beverage sponsor, OUA, for providing the drinks for the evening.

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As all OABC’s events, the night was a huge success for executives and decision-makers from all nationalities to meet, build relationships, learn and discuss key matters of interest to the business community in Oman.

Find more pictures on our Facebook page.

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Our members were invited to a presentation on Oman’s labour law, in partnership with Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel on Monday, February 10th, from 8 am – 10:30 am at the Jabrin ballroom, in the InterContinental Hotel Muscat.

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The session addressed the nature and relationships between employees and employers – specifically termination of employment relationships, effective ways for dispute resolution, and the role of the government during employment disputes.

The event started at 8 am with coffee, breakfast and a presentation from experts with Global Advocacy and Legal Counsel, followed by case studies and Q & A.

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The event was a huge success with lots of positive feedback. We give special thanks to Abdulredha and his team at Global Advocates for presenting a hot topic and for sharing their expert insights.

Thank you also to all our members who attended and for sending their legal/ HR representatives.



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Members of the OABC were invited for a meet and greet with the U.S. Consular Section Chief, Mr. Manav Jain on Monday, 27th January from 4-6 pm at Bait Al Reem Business Center, 6th Floor (Palm Board Room).

Manav discussed consular section FAQ’s and addressed questions about visas and other services over donuts and coffee from 3rd Street Donuts.

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The session was informative and helped our members receive real, tangible and useful information first-hand.

We thank Manav for his prompt responses with follow-up email queries and for his continued support for our members.




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The OABC hosted our annual Christmas Celebration at the Zale Beach Club and Lounge, at the Kempinski Hotel on Tuesday, 17th December from 7 – 9 pm.

New and old members came together for an evening filled with cheerful music, business networking, drinks and festive fare, all in the name of Christmas cheer!

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We are also pleased to have the U.S. Embassy’s Chargé d’affaires Stephanie Hallett as our special guest of honor for this event.

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Find more pictures on our Facebook page.

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The Oman American Business Center (OABC) organized its Biennial General Meeting at the Sundus Rotana to review its progress over the past two years and to provide attendees with a unique networking opportunity. Welcoming OABC company members, VIPs from the Oman business community, and representatives from the U.S. Embassy, the event on December 9th concluded with OABC’s biennial Board of Directors election. A host of new and returning board members were elected, including some of the Sultanate’s most accomplished private sector executives and entrepreneurs.

During the OABC’s elections, 7 members of the center were elected to serve on the board. Four members maintained ex-officio or permanent seats including Ali Daud, Chairman and Co-founder of the OABC;  Emmee Haun, Co-founder of the OABC; Fouad Eid, Vice-President of the OABC; and Andrew Barwig, Commercial Officer at the US Embassy in Muscat.

The seven members welcomed to the Board of Directors included Bill Crew, Founder and CEO of Inspired Solutions; Girish Chawla, CEO of Tawoos Power and Telecom LLC; Marla Valdez, Head of Office and Partner at Clyde & Co in Oman, acting in association with Fatma Al Mamari Advocacy and Legal Consultancy Firm; Paul Murphy, General Manager of the Grand Hyatt Muscat; Shayan Sumar, Co-founder and Marketing Manager of Apex Transgulf Manufacturing; Talal al Subhi, Executive Director of Rohn International Products Arabia; and Vairali Mehta, Chief Operating Officer at Muscat Pharmacy.


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“Since our last General Meeting, the OABC has joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as its official affiliate (AmCham) in Oman and has also built up its regional relationships with other AmChams and partners greatly expanding our network as a business organization,” commented Mr. Daud. “We have taken our mission of fostering business between Oman and the United States very seriously and are glad to see an increase in exports from both nations through the opportunities provided by the Oman-US Free Trade Agreement.”

Mr. Daud continues “Data published by the US Department of Commerce shows that American trade exports to the Omani market totalled around $2.415 billion last year, up from $1.984 billion in 2017. Omani exports escalated to $1.275 billion last year, up from $1.066 billion in 2017.  For the past 15 years, the OABC has been a platform providing information and connections for those involved in the Oman-U.S. business.  We’ve witnessed and helped nurture the burgeoning commercial ties that bind our two countries, fulfilling our role as a gateway to better understanding opportunities and partnerships.”

Fouad Eid, Vice President of the OABC, also commented, saying, “As a professional membership organization, the OABC has experienced significant growth in the past 2 years, despite challenging times for many businesses. We find that now, more than ever, companies from SMEs to large corporates are signing up for membership and seeking out events where they can network and build strong relationships in the Oman business community. We are delighted to report that total membership in the organization is up 27%, bringing the total number of member companies to 165.

Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC, stated: “The combination of new executives constantly joining the organization, together with the commitment of our long-time members, adds vibrancy to our networking and knowledge-sharing events, as well as new opportunities for all.”

The OABC also announced its new mobile app at the event.  The app will host exclusive offers on B2B services only available to members of the organization.  It will also allow member companies to advertise to high-level executives and promote their events, programs, and initiatives throughout OABC’s full network of business leaders and professionals.
A key reference point for SMEs, entrepreneurs, and business executives, the OABC was founded to maintain the strong economic bonds between business communities in the Sultanate and the USA. The OABC has grown more than threefold over the last several years and has risen to become one of the Sultanate’s most active business groups with around 30 events annually. In addition to a wide variety of benefits set to be introduced later this year, the OABC has organized a number of highly informative seminars since its last BGM, including the ‘Oman’s Evolving Legislative and Tax Landscape’ and the Renewable Energy Series, among other events.
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Over 140 company members of the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) came together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday on November 25th at the Grand Hyatt Muscat.  Guests enjoyed the traditional American feast, from turkey dinner to classic pumpkin pies, along with high-level business networking.

Members and executives from the business community were joined by two guests of honor: H.E. Qais Al Yousif, Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and U.S. Ambassador Marc J. Sievers.

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The Oman American Business Center (OABC), in a bid to foster closer relationships and business partnerships between regional AmChams (American Chambers of Commerce), hosted the first-ever GCC Regional AmCham Summit at Anantara Jebel Akhdar Resort on June 14 and 15.

“As AmCham affiliates in the GCC, we share one vision and mission. Of course, we also face similar challenges,” said Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “At what we trust will be the first of several meetings to come, we discovered several new ways to overcome these challenges as well as support each other and partner within the region.”

Olson continued, “When we invited regional AmCham leaders to attend this, the first-ever summit of its kind in the region, it was encouraging to see that not a single one hesitated.”

The GCC AmChams represent over 1,000 member companies and millions of dollars of US investment in the region. They are the go to organisations in each country for anything US trade and opportunities related.

Mary McGinnis, Executive Director, American Chamber of Commerce in Bahrain, stated that, “AmCham Bahrain is pleased to participate in this, the first Gulf Regional AmCham Summit. We recognise the power of communication and collaboration and look forward to building closer ties with our neighboring AmChams. In doing so we can bring more value to our members and increase regional, as well as US-Bahrain, trade.”

The two-day event brought together executive directors and board members representing AmChams in Oman, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait and Bahrain, to discuss opportunities for increased collaboration. This included partnering on joint trade missions to and from the US and bringing key speakers to the region for business events. The delegates also discussed best practices across several key points of interest that could further support member companies, ranging from communication and digital platforms to event planning and benefit programs.

Esra Cavdarli Menke, Executive Director of AmCham Kuwait said, “The event was a tremendous opportunity to learn what best practices other AmChams are using to promote greater US business relationships with our allies in the region.”

The Oman American Business Center is now finalizing its 2019-2020 calendar of events. Last year the organisation hosted 27 events in line with its mission to help support the Oman business community and to increase trade and commercial development between the Sultanate and the United States. At each event, executives and decision-makers in Oman meet, build relationships, learn and discuss key matters of interest to the business community.