untitled 5438
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.

78761036 2534064466720191 8415150803399999488 o

“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.
untitled 5019

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.

untitled 4949

untitled 5015

untitled 5029

1036853

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.

KIMCT OABC at Soi Soi 16

We would like to thank the Kempinski Hotel Muscat for inviting OABC’s Premium Membership* to Soi Soi Restaurant’s launch of “Bangkok By Night” last Saturday, June 15th.

The event continues every week — Diners experience all-you-can-eat signature delicacies inspired by Thailand’s street food, from 6:30 to 11 PM: OMR 12 Per Person, OMR 10 House Beverages Package.

Special exclusive offer for OABC: Kempinski Hotel Muscat would like to offer a ‘Complimentary Welcome Drink’ for every OABC member who attends. Offer is valid upon using a valid OABC membership card.

*OABC Premium members enjoy exclusive events, regular OABC events, complimentary products and promotions, advertising to business-focused email lists, invitations to trade shows, sponsorship opportunities, and special invitations to meet VIPs and stakeholders.

KIMCT OABC at Soi Soi

 

KIMCT OABC at Soi Soi 10

 

KIMCT OABC at Soi Soi 9

Kempinski Hotel Muscat Bangkok by Night at Soi Soi

IMG 3879

The Oman American Business Center (OABC) hosted its annual Ramadan art exhibition and Iftar in honor of Adatee Hyattee,a Omani group of artists with disabilities. Sponsored by Boeing Middle East, this event is an annual initiative focused on encouraging diversity, understanding and inclusion between communities.

Approximately 100 guests attended, including OABC members, business executives, Omani artists, and US Ambassador Marc Sievers. The event provided a networking platform within an artistic and creative environment. The talented men and women shared their personal journey of pain, hope and inspiration through an impressive display of over 30 works of art.

Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of OABC said, “The Annual Iftar is a favorite event for many OABC members because of the spirit of thankfulness and respect present in the community during the month of Ramadan. Spending time with the artists, seeing their work, and enjoying a meal together creates a space for more than just business networking. We thank each artist who attended, as well as OABC Corporate Member since 2016, Boeing Middle East, for their annual sponsorship of this very memorable event.”

Bernard Dunn, president of Boeing Middle East, North Africa and Turkey said: “Boeing is extremely proud to be a member of the OABC and to spend the evening with Adatee Hyattee and their beautiful art. We know that uniting communities and bringing diverse groups together in an inclusive environment, is essential to the betterment of the global community and economy. We will continue our support for initiatives that build bridges and empower communities here in Oman.”

The OABC not only prioritizes bringing the business community together, but values the participation and involvement from local members of the community, in order to provide its members with new and authentic experiences. Through this year’s event, attendees were able to appreciate more than the artwork on display— they were also given an opportunity to focus on the artists’ own determination; creating opportunity out of their personal struggles.

Find more photos here.

IMG 3785

IMG 3833

IMG 3804

IMG 3812

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2019 04 22 at 9 53 01 AM

Over 130 members and guests enjoyed the OABC’s largest-ever Taco Tuesday at the Deputy Chief of Mission‘s Residence on April 16th. Ms. Stephanie Hallett graciously hosted the annual event. In her opening remarks, the DCM discussed the Embassy’s connection with the OABC and the growth of the OABC over the past year.

The Kempinski Hotel Muscat generously supplied the tacos and a team of expert chefs, as well as 5 raffle vouchers for lucky members. Other sponsors included Oman United Agencies, Häagan-Dazs Oman (what a hit!), Grand Hyatt Muscat (margarita machine), Sundus Rotana Muscat, Al Falaj Hotel – Muscat, Travel Point Oman (raffling off a one-day luxury yacht rental!), Muscat Pharmacy, Casa Yoga Oman, and BombaBurrito, who generously donated a surprise for all: every attendee present won a “Meal for two voucher” at Bomba Burrito in Muzn Mall.

Thank you to all who attended and especially to our host and sponsors.

Leave a comment  1
WhatsApp Image 2019 04 22 at 9 38 32 AM

Dozens of OABC members came to Mumtaz Mahal on March 17 for a drop in business lunch with the OABC team.  OABC Premium Member Asha Enterprises LLC sponsored the event, which showcased the restaurant’s fantastic views and delicious lunch options. Rebecca Olson, Executive Director, and Meruyert Shagmanova, Corporate Coordinator handed out this new document and explained benefits to members.  Attendees enjoyed networking outdoors on the patio and left with a better idea of how to access their benefits and connect further with the organization.

Thank you again to Asha Enterprises LLC and Mumtaz Mahal’s team for a lovely lunch!  If you missed it, remember, OABC members receive 15% off the total bill at both Mumtaz Mahal and Woodlands.
IMG 2050

The Oman American Business Center (OABC) introduced 36 U.S. franchises to Omani investors and entrepreneurs at a two-day event at the Crowne Plaza Muscat, Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre (OCEC), between April 7-8.

Delegates presented brands new to Oman, and connected with attendees during one-on-one meetings on the second day of the event. Opportunities presented included fast casual dining establishments, restaurant experiences, kids’ education, entertainment, fitness, technology, health and more.

Asha Enterprises and Clyde & Co. sponsored the event. Asha Enterprises had experts present to connect with potential franchisees to discuss specific costs and requirements for fit-out and interior design. Joycia Young, Partner at Clyde & Co Dubai, presented legal steps to opening a franchise, as a top franchise law expert in the region.

Joel Stewart, Founder of Integrity Commerical and Omar Al Haza’a, CEO and Founder of Franchise Arabia, partnered with the OABC to invite US companies to the event. “The Oman-US Free Trade Agreement and the positive economic outlook for the Sultanate make this country a key market and country of interest for the brands I represent,” said Stewart.

“I’m very grateful to the OABC for facilitating the first event of its kind in Oman — I was surprised by the new concepts and opportunities presented, and I see a lot of potential for a number of them to succeed in Oman,” says MaanAlasfoor, OABC Member and Business Development Manager at Global Reliance Line.

“As the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman, we are always looking for new ways to connect Omani and US businesses and to highlight opportunities that could facilitate commercial development between both nations,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director at the OABC. “We look forward to hosting similar events in the future.”

From Times in Oman.

Find Clyde & Co. presentation here, more pictures here.

IMG 0330

The Oman American Business Center (OABC) organised a legal update event for its members and special guests, in collaboration with Clyde & Co. and KPMG, at the Intercontinental Hotel Muscat on Wednesday, March 20th.

Legal experts of Clyde & Co offered detailed presentations on recent changes to legislation in Oman. Taimur Malik, Regional Partner, together with Associates Fatma Makki and Zahir Al Sulaimani, discussed the newly adopted 2019 Oman Commercial Companies Law.

Marla Valdez, Board Member of the OABC and Managing Partner at Clyde & Co Oman, covered details of the Minerals Wealth Law. Executive Regulations to the Tax Law were presented by Ashok Hariharan, Partner and Head of Tax at KPMG Lower Gulf, and Meenakshi Sundaram, Tax Director of KPMG in Oman.

“The Oman tax landscape is undergoing a considerable change to not only deal with the need to enhance tax revenues, but also to cope with the global tax developments, including the need for companies having offshore structures to have economic substance,” said Hariharan, following his presentation.

“It is also important for businesses to consider the possible implications of the recent inclusion of Oman in the blacklist re-leased by EU, and the consequent likely outcome of Oman agreeing to introduce legislation to facilitate automatic exchange of information with other countries,” he added.

Sundaram’s presentation pointed out that “The recent changes to the Executive Regulations to the Tax Law provides much needed clarification on several tax matters, including the most important withholding tax rules. Businesses should carefully evaluate the tax implications and ensure appropriate compliance with the regulations.”

“We are thankful to OABC Premium Member company Clyde & Co, not only for sharing their expertise and knowledge, but for recommending these topics in the first place, rightly expecting that the Oman business community would have questions about recent changes,” said Rebecca Olson, Executive Director at the OABC.

KPMG has done an excellent job on the tax side, clearly outlining new regulations for our company members working in a variety of sectors. We thank both companies for their fantastic work and sponsorship for the event,” Rebecca Olson added.

Marla Valdez, Managing Partner at Clyde & Co in Muscat, said: “The recent adoption of the new laws demonstrates the Government’s understanding that Oman’s legal and regulatory framework needs to evolve in order to attract new investments, while also protecting the public’s interest. Investments need certainty, and the mining industry for instance had somewhat stalled while investors waited for the new law to be adopted. This is a welcome development and we expect to see further announcements on the regulatory front to support Oman’s Vision 2040.”

From Times of Oman.

Find more photos here.

54215001 2051850704941572 5249628798076321792 n

Around 80 OABC members recently came together to clean up waste at the beach behind Azaiba Clothing Factory in Muscat. With around 442 kg of plastic, glass and fishing nets among the trash that members picked up.

We would like to thank Harub Dental Surgery for the sponsorship and all the support. The campaign received support from Saba Muscat Trading Co. by providing the special eco-friendly reusable cups.