The OABC’s Tourism Committee came together on April 29 for an inspiring brainstorming session. The OABC extends its heartfelt gratitude to Grand Hyatt Muscat Hotel for graciously hosting the meeting.

The session was marked by the exchange of brilliant ideas and enthusiastic discussions on enhancing tourism initiatives. From innovative strategies to collaborative partnerships, members contributed valuable insights aimed at advancing Oman’s tourism sector. Click here for more!

Harshal Dutia is heading up three new programs at the OABC to support further the use of the U.S. Oman FTA, and the commercial relationship between the U.S. and Oman on a more practical level. He shares more of the vision behind our services in the below article.

Tell us more about you, Harshal

Hi! I’m Harshal Dutia. Over the past decade, I’ve had the privilege of serving in diverse capacities across governmental non-profit organizations, private for-profit sectors, and international trade promotion. I’ve delved into pivotal roles encompassing trade development, investment promotion, finance, and cyber forensics.

Before my current role with the Oman American Business Council (OABC), I honed my skills as a Marketing Manager at the Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), stationed at their Muscat office for over seven years. This role was instrumental in fostering trade relations between Oman and South Korea, driven by a state-funded initiative. This included liaising with government and private sector clients in Oman, facilitating deals, and overseeing the introduction of various products and technologies into the Omani market. I organized demonstrations, site visits, and ministerial delegations to and from Korea, showcasing the potential for collaboration in sectors such as oil & gas, defense, consumable goods, and cosmetics. Additionally, I utilized digital marketing strategies, market analysis, and research to identify emerging trends and facilitate Korean companies’ entry into the Omani market.

After which, I held the mantle of Business Development Manager, overseeing the Middle East and South Asia regions for a first-of-its-kind cyber fusion SaaS platform. I worked on finding government and private sector clients in these regions to promote and sell the platform to.

Academically, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Accounting and Finance from the University of Bradford in 2012. Since then, I’ve dedicated myself to continuous learning, acquiring certifications in finance, management accounting, and cybersecurity.

My passion lies in international trade, where I find fulfillment in facilitating businesses to thrive in new markets. This commitment extends beyond mere commerce; it’s about contributing to the economic growth and prosperity of both Oman and the United States.

Through my endeavors, I aspire to bridge gaps, foster collaborations, and drive sustainable growth. Each role I’ve undertaken has equipped me with a unique perspective and a diverse skill set, enabling me to make meaningful contributions to both the Omani and American business landscapes.

If there’s anything else you’d like to know or explore further, I am happy to connect.


Can you share more about OABC’s trade services and programs?

We at the Oman American Business Council (OABC) are excited to announce three programs designed to bolster trade between Oman and the United States. These programs cater to Omani and American companies seeking guidance and support as they explore business opportunities in each other’s markets.

  1. U.S. Export Compass: This annual program assists Omani companies in entering the U.S. market. OABC professionals’ partner with each company, providing comprehensive export preparation, tailoring proposals and sales pitches for the U.S. market, and identifying genuine buyers. 
  2. Gateway Oman: This monthly program caters to American companies seeking to export to Oman. We provide market research, statistics, and buyer introductions tailored to diverse industries. 
  3. U.S. Import Compass: This monthly program caters to Omani companies seeking American products and aims to connect them with manufacturers, service providers, and traders throughout the U.S. It operates on a month-long basis.

In addition to the aforementioned programs, we also develop custom programs to meet the specific requirements of Omani and American businesses. These customized solutions may include designing and hosting delegations and roadshows, providing support in creating marketing materials tailored for the respective markets, and addressing any other specific needs related to trade and business development.

What is the overall vision for the program?

The vision we aim to achieve through these programs is multifaceted:

  1. Facilitating Trade: We strive to facilitate smoother trade relations between Oman and the United States by providing comprehensive support and guidance to businesses from both countries. By offering tailored programs for exporting and importing companies, we aim to streamline the process of doing business across borders. Additionally, we aim to leverage the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Oman and the US to further enhance trade opportunities and remove barriers to commerce.
  2. Promoting Economic Growth: Our programs are designed to contribute to the economic growth of both Oman and the United States. By helping Omani companies expand their market reach into the U.S. and assisting American companies in accessing the Omani market, we aim to foster increased trade volumes and business opportunities, ultimately leading to economic prosperity for both nations. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) and the Ministry of Finance, Sultanate of Oman in 2023 further underscores our commitment to bolstering economic growth through trade cooperation.
  3. Building Stronger Business Relationships: Through initiatives like delegations, roadshows, one: one meetings, and networking opportunities, we seek to facilitate the establishment of strong and enduring business relationships between companies in Oman and the United States. These relationships can lead to long-term partnerships, collaborations, and mutually beneficial ventures, bolstered by the incentives provided by the FTA and the recent MoU between EXIM and Oman.
  4. Enhancing International Cooperation: By promoting trade and business development between Oman and the United States, we aim to strengthen the ties between the two countries on an international level. Increased collaboration in the economic sphere can also pave the way for cooperation in other areas such as technology transfer, education, and cultural exchange. 

Overall, our vision is to create a dynamic and thriving ecosystem that fosters sustainable economic growth, mutual prosperity, and deepens the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Oman and the United States, leveraging the opportunities and incentives provided by the governments of both countries.


What do you think are the untapped areas of growth for the US Oman FTA?

While the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has demonstrably bolstered Oman-US trade, I firmly believe significant untapped potential remains. My focus would be on strategically leveraging these areas for further growth and development.

  1. Prioritizing Investment Facilitation: Strengthening investment protection and promotion is crucial. By enhancing investor confidence, streamlining procedures, and clarifying regulations, we can unlock greater cross-border investment flows, fostering robust economic activity.
  2. Empowering SMEs: Equipping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the tools they need to thrive in international trade is critical. Targeted capacity-building initiatives, access to financing via initiatives such as EXIM bank MoU with Oman Ministry of Finance and initiatives by organizations such as Riyada in Oman, and support with market entry strategies through initiative like our programs, we will empower these economic engines.
  3. Embracing E-commerce: Integrating e-commerce provisions within the FTA is essential to capture the burgeoning digital trade landscape. Facilitating cross-border transactions, protecting consumer rights, and removing regulatory barriers will unlock a whole new avenue for collaboration. The U.S. has a streamlined and well-established e-commerce infrastructure in which Oman can be integrated in to with initiatives from logistics and digital payment partners.
  4. Integrating Sustainable Development: Embedding sustainable development and environmental protection within the FTA framework ensures equitable trade benefits. Promoting environmental standards, social responsibility, and inclusive growth creates a win-win for both nations and their citizens. This also falls in line with the 2050 Net Zero Carbon initiative by His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said and the U.S. committing to cut total greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030. Both part of the Paris Agreement,
  5. Forging Supply Chain Resilience: Collaborative efforts to strengthen supply chain resilience and diversification will mitigate risks associated with disruptions. Promoting regional integration, bolstering logistics infrastructure, and implementing trade facilitation measures are key areas for collaboration. The first step towards trade development is the initial business between two nations. To make it sustainable over a long period, every aspect of the supply chain needs to be fine tuned and it is an ever-evolving process. The nuances of these developments need to be accommodated in the FTA.

By focusing on these untapped areas, we can transform the FTA into a dynamic platform for even stronger Oman-US trade relations, fostering shared prosperity and a sustainable future.

During the Oman AI Summit 2024, key figures including HE Dr. Ali Al Shidhani, Undersecretary of MTCIT, H.E. Munther Al Busaidi, VP of Oman Vision 2040, Mr. Talal Al Saadi: Director’s Office, Ministry of the Interior, and AI Expert Dr. Joerg Bienert, joined a panel conversation moderated by OABC CEO Rebecca Olson. The panel discussed Oman’s AI integration and its significance for Oman Vision 2040. The summit focused on the role of AI in economic sectors, talent development, and governance, with am emphasis on the importance of AI regulation for data privacy and achieving the nation’s goals. For more details, visit here.

If you missed the event, check out the video here.

The Oman American Business Council, Oman’s largest and most active business networking group and the official affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Oman, in partnership with OABC Corporate Member Al Tamimi & Company, the region’s leading law firm, was delighted to host a successful morning session on the Omani Labor Law.

The event took place on Sept 5th at the Intercontinental Hotel Muscat, and brought together over 200 esteemed legal professionals, executives and business leaders to discuss the significant changes introduced by the new labor law. After networking and coffee, experts provided valuable insights and guidance on the implementation of the newly announced labor law, ensuring that employers and employees left well-informed and equipped to navigate the evolving legal landscape.

Highlights of the event included:

  1. Presentation by Al Tamimi & Company, providing a comprehensive overview of the new labor law and its implications for businesses and employees in Oman.
  2. Q&A session providing participants with the opportunity to seek clarification on specific aspects of the law.
  3. Networking breaks allowing attendees to connect with like-minded business people and expand their professional network.

“OABC gathered over 200 professionals from every business sector in Oman, to receive clear, highly beneficial advice on a very important aspect; the new labor law, which impacts every business in Oman,” says Ali Daud, President and Chairman Emeritus of OABC.” These sorts of experiences and events set the organization apart here in Oman, and add incredible value for our members.”

“Reforms such as this new labor law show the government’s support of the country’s workforce and its ongoing drive towards continued development,” says Fouad Eid, Vice President of OABC and VP of Champion X, an American company and global leader in chemistry solutions, artificial lift systems, and highly engineered equipment and technologies. “At OABC, our membership consists of both local and foreign companies, and individuals from the public and private sector, who all look forward to this event to better understand the new law’s implementation.”

Abdelhaleem Mohammed Ahmed, Senior Counsel & Head of Litigation – Oman, Al Tamimi & Company, comments: “The new labor law overhauls the legal framework in respect of the employment relationship in the private sector and introduces significant changes to the old legal framework. The new law seeks to address changes in the work environment, align Oman labor relations with international best practices, and it is the most significant amendment to the Oman labor legislation since 2003. The New Law provides employers with additional rights for terminating employment relationships and introduces new and additional obligations on employers and employees alike. Employers should be aware that they are required to comply with the new law by 25 January 2024. Our team in Oman possesses a wealth of experience in respect of employment matters and disputes, and has an in-depth understanding of both the old and the new employment legal frameworks.”

“Since the day the labor law was announced, OABC members have been asking for this session to clarify aspects regarding its implementation, and we’re proud to present the topic with our Corporate Member, Al Tamimi & Company,” says Rebecca Olson, Chief Executive Officer at OABC. “This is part of OABC’s mission, to keep member companies in the know about changes, opportunities, and developments that impact their business in Oman.”

The event was free for OABC members. It was open to employers, HR professionals, legal practitioners, and anyone interested in gaining a comprehensive understanding of the new labor law regulations.

If you missed the session, click here to watch some snapshots of it.

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Oman American Business Council members, along with fellow Oman business leaders and senior government officials took part in an informative session with the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) last week at the Diplomatic Club. This event was hosted in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the patronage of H.E. Tahir bin Salim Al Amari, the CEO of the Oman Central Bank. The workshop discussed EXIM’s financing tools, congressional mandates and special initiatives, while highlighting global best practices of companies that have benefited from EXIM.

EXIM is the official export credit agency of the United States and supports the purchases of U.S. – made capital equipment and ancillary services by international buyers. In more than 85 years of operation, EXIM has supported more than $400 billion of U.S. exports to international markets, and EXIM finance products are now able available to both the Oman private and public sector when procuring American goods and services.

EXIM can provide loan guarantees and medium to long-term direct financing at attractive rates for those wanting to buy American products. Projects that are considered transformational such as biotech, AI, renewable energy, fintech, wireless communications and water treatment, may receive enhanced, competitive financing options. This opportunity for Oman businesses to utilize EXIM products further strengthens the long, strong business ties between the United States and Oman while stimulating economic growth.

Ali Daud, Founder and Chairman of the Oman American Business Council commented “being able to import high-quality, innovative U.S. products duty free (under the FTA) along with highly competitive financing options through EXIM presents a tremendous opportunity for Oman businesses”. Ali Daud also mentions that “As we look to achieve Oman’s 2040 vision, agreements and programs such as the FTA and EXIM can help get us the necessary infrastructure and technology but it’s essential businesses take advantage of these opportunities”. Companies wanting to learn more about the Oman-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, EXIM’s finance products or be put into direct contact with an EXIM representative should contact the Oman American Business Council at or call 9418 9500.

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On August 28, 2022 the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) held a welcome reception for their new Chief Executive Officer, Heather Redling. The event was hosted by the U.S. Embassy Muscat’s Deputy Chief of Mission, Jay Munir.

A buzz of excitement was in the air as OABC members representing over 50 companies networked and reconnected after the summer holidays. Ali Daud, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the OABC provided opening remarks highlighting the strong, fruitful relationship between the U.S. Embassy and the OABC before introducing Heather. In her speech, the new CEO focused on the power of the organization’s members in making the OABC, the best business networking group in Oman. Heather also spoke to maximizing the newly formed partnerships with AmCham MENA and AmCham GCC and new initiatives to increase commercial activity between the United States and Oman.


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The event was catered by Cowboy Steakhouse and members enjoyed delicious American prime cuts of meat that were being grilled on site. The Cowboy’s team brought their fun cowboy vibe to the event, including their “fire show” to everyone’s delight. The evening was also supported by OUA and their new General Manager, Michael Wimmer with a generous beverage donation. And a few lucky OABC members won fantastic raffle prizes donated by Dusitd2 Naseem Resort, Jabal Akhdar and Cowboy Steakhouse.


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As the official affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Oman (AmCham Oman), the OABC promotes understanding, partnerships & other matters of mutual economic interest between business communities in Oman and the United States. Formed in 2003, the OABC’s mission is to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States. With more than 30 events annually and over 160 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business center and networking group.

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The GCC’S American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham) Officially signed an MOU amongst themselves that signifies unity across borders in upcoming events and collaborations.

AmCham strives to discuss and pursue common commercial interests and maintain relations with
commerce and other commercial organizations. AmCham Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Oman and Qatar are committed to coming together and hosting events and initiatives as a consortium within the GCC, for the purpose of ensuring collaboration and building strong relationships amongst their members.

After two years of countrywide shutdowns due to the 2020 pandemic, there is no better time for this
announcement. Mere months before the FIFA World Cup, AmChams across the GCC continue supporting their members by hosting events and initiatives together for the benefit of their members and friends. If you are not a member of your local AmCham, it is not too late to take part in these upcoming awe-inspiring events. Contact your local American Chamber of Commerce today.

“The only thing better than being part of an AmCham as a member company, is being part of an AmCham network like this one, that connects companies regionally in a personal, professional way,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “Our members in Oman can connect with companies all over the region through their membership, and our staff teams can share best practices and methods together, or lead joint regional events to the benefit of all our members. It’s a win-win-win and we’re so excited to formalize what has already been an incredibly beneficial relationship with our regional counterparts.”

Click here to see the full article.

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The AmCham MENA Regional Council is proud to announce the joining of the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) as a new member organization, adding over 150 new member companies to the Council’s Membership, representing different sectors around the region.

The Oman American Business Center (OABC), also known as AmCham Oman was founded in 2003 to foster the development of commercial activity between Oman and the United States, and to support the Oman business community through programs and events focused on professional development, thought leadership, and high-level networking.

As the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman, OABC promotes understanding, partnerships, and other matters of mutual economic interest between business communities in Oman and the United States.  AmCham Oman hosts about 30 events annually and is considered to be Oman’s most active business networking group.

“Joining the regional Council of MENA American Chambers of Commerce is a natural step for AmCham Oman (OABC) to take as we continue serving our growing membership of companies in Oman.” says Ali Daud, President and Chairman Emiritus of OABC.  “This opportunity to be part of the MENA Council will provide strong connections in the region and support OABC’s mission of facilitating trade and commercial relations between Oman and the United States.”

In welcoming AmCham Oman to the AmCham MENA Council, AmCham MENA Council Chairman, and President of AmCham Egypt, Tarek Tawfik commented; “We are honored to have AmCham Oman join the regional family of the MENA Council. With the addition of AmCham Oman, AmCham MENA welcomes its 11th member country. Oman is an important country to the region and to the United States. Trade between Oman and the United States reached more than four billion dollars in 2021. With AmCham Oman, the AmCham MENA regional council will continue working on advancing interregional cooperation and promoting trade and investment between the United States and other countries of the Region”.

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