OABC News

Here you can browse past OABC events and recent news. Members, please contact us to share your own company promotions and news, as we love to highlight what our members are doing.

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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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On June 15, 2022, Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) hosted its last networking event of the spring season at Sama Terraza on the Park Inn by Radisson Rooftop for members of the Oman business community.  At the event, held in collaboration with AmCham Dubai and FedEx Express, attendees had the opportunity to network with small and medium businesses (SMEs) and explore new business opportunities.

Sammy Bousaba, Managing Director of Middle East and Africa Sales at FedEx Express said: “Oman connects the East and West of the GCC region, and in addition to its business-friendly environment, the Sultanate has comprehensive initiatives to integrate its road, airport, and port networks. With access to our unparalleled Middle East road network and the world’s largest air express network, FedEx Express connects Oman to more than 220 countries and territories around the world.”

“We are committed to supporting small and medium businesses in Oman by providing them with the right resources, digital tools, and infrastructure that are crucial for their growth. Now more than ever, businesses can benefit from opportunities in global markets, and through our alliance with AmCham, we look forward to providing SMEs with our expertise to support their growth across the region and beyond,” added Sammy.

“FedEx Express connects people and possibilities,” says Fouad Eid, Vice President of the OABC.  “That is exactly what tonight’s event was all about.  Thank you to FedEx Express for the generous sponsorship and the opportunity to work together. We are also proud to partner with AmCham Dubai for our first co-hosted event in Oman, to present an evening of new relationships and opportunities for OABC’s vibrant networking community.”

“As the newly appointed Vice-Chair of AmCham MENA, AmCham Dubai hopes to continue this outreach to our GCC neighbors by providing connections to power global access. Creating these relationships helps us to foster trade and goodwill from the USA to the Middle East, we thank the Oman American Business Council for hosting this fantastic event said Cara Nazari, Managing Director, AmCham Dubai.

As the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman (AmCham Oman), the OABC promotes understanding, partnerships and 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 30 events annually and over 170 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business council and networking group. The Oman American Business Center (OABC) is best known for hosting high-level professional networking events and informational sessions for professionals across the Sultanate.

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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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On May 23rd, in partnership with OABC Corporate Member OITE, members attended a special networking event at COMEX. During the event, members had the opportunity to meet company representatives from different companies participating in Oman’s largest and longest-running technology conference and exhibition.
We were also honored to welcome Haider Adnan Al-Zaabi from Mays EV — designer and founder of the first Omani electric vehicle company, to speak. Amr Babood, the organizer of the event, also shared remarks and led a tour to go check out the MAYS model car.
It was a very interesting event full of new connections. Thank you OITE for your support.
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On May 15, the OABC welcomed Pete Mehravari, U.S. Intellectual Property Attaché for the MENA region. The event included a conversation about IP opportunities and challenges. Members of the OABC shared their own experiences. They also learned about Pete’s work as an IP attaché and received updates on what he’s seeing lately in the region.
We would like to thank Pete and the members of the OABC for the much-needed informative conversation.
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On February 15, the GCC AmChams organized a live webinar “Annual Expat Tax Update for Americans living abroad”, presented by Expat Global Tax​.

Discussion topics:

  • US taxation overview (for expats)
  • Foreign earned income exclusion
  • Foreign Bank Account Reporting (FBAR) & FATCA Filings
  • Foreign investment accounts (including foreign retirement accounts)
  • State tax residency and tax filing
  • Filing requirements with Business ownership abroad
  • Filing options for delinquent tax filer
  • 2021 tax filing key updates
  • Q&A session

Presenters:

Affan Khadir, EA

US Expat, Senior Tax Manager, Expat Global Tax

Qualified US tax practitioner with over 15 years experience in the area of US Expat Taxation

Mohammad A K Khan, CPA

Senior US Expat Tax Advisor, Expat Global Tax

Qualified US CPA with over 13 years experience in the area of US Expat Taxation

Click here for the Expat Global Tax – US Expat Tax Firm (service offering)

 

Access Webinar Recording here.

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MUSCAT, OMAN: In collaboration with Abdulredha Al Lawati Lawyers & Counsels (ALC) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC),  the Oman American Business Center (OABC) hosted “Oman’s Tax and Legal Landscape” on February 7, at the Sheraton Oman Hotel.

The session included a brief time of business networking over breakfast, followed by legal and tax presentations covering a variety of key topics, and ended with plenty of time for Q & A.

Speaker Abdulredha Al Lawati, Founder of ALC, discussed the current laws related to court processes and commercial practice.  His presentation was followed by PwC’s Ghalia Al Sharji, Tax Senior Manager, who covered Oman’s 2022 State Budget. Finally, Darcy White, Tax & Legal Services Partner discussed e-invoicing, personal income tax, regional trends, and the future of Oman’s tax legislation.

Events like this one are part of OABC’s overall mission to facilitate trade and investment between Oman and the USA, and to support ease of doing business in Oman”, says Ali Daud, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of OABC.  “Oman is moving towards its Vision 2040 and more changes affecting the private sector will certainly come.  We are proud to partner with firms like ALC and PWC and host sessions that keep our members informed about key developments across all sectors.”

“The past few years have seen a big shift in the global tax landscape in terms of how countries are expected to tax, record and report on resident entities and individuals,” says Darcy White, Tax Partner at PwC Middle East Oman. “Global influence on local tax policy is greater than ever before, fueled particularly by the OECD’s Inclusive Framework on BEPS, which Oman is a member of. The BEPS Project brings with it significant compliance requirements to meet multilateral cooperation objections. This coupled with the increased focus on taxation in Oman’s Vision 2020 and the 2022 Budget means that taxable entities will need to ensure they are “tax ready” for the future. This doesn’t just mean ensuring they are aware of compliance matters, as with the introduction of new taxes and compliance requirements, for example, e-invoicing. Being tax ready also means ensuring entities have the right policies and systems in place to meet the Government’s reporting obligations.”  

“The last couple of years have shown the government’s efforts to confirm its clear intention to develop the country forward under Vision 2040, ” says Abdulredha Al Lawati, Founder of ALC Lawyers & Counsels. “Over 100 Royal Decrees were promulgated in the last two years and most of those decrees were issued to facilitate the investment environment in Oman and promote opportunities within the country. The issued Royal Decrees were not covering the businesses only, but it also restructured the systems in other wide areas. Due to the increase of the cases post-COVID, the government has deeply considered the Courts’ procedures. The Law Simplifying the Process in Some Cases (RD 125/2020) has created wide differences in the practice. Minimizing the duration before the courts was a fundamental change. Further, the promulgation of the Commercial Companies Law and Foreign Investment Law was a great area which the government aims to develop. Removal of minimum capital and providing expats the chance to set up their business independently was the main aim of these laws.”

“They say the only constant in life changes, and this is certainly true in business as well,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “It’s essential for all companies to stay updated with key information about recent changes and expert predictions about where things are headed, especially in key areas with huge implications on their business, like legislation and tax.  We’re thankful to our sponsor and partner ALC for co-hosting this important event and shining a light on many different aspects of Omani law, and to the team at PwC for their partnership and expert presentations.”

Members of the OABC who attended the event were invited to receive a complimentary short consultation with ALC and/or PwC if desired, as a further benefit of OABC membership.

 As the official affiliate of the US 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 is the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman. 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 175 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business council and networking group.

Bait Al Ghasham OABC

MUSCAT, OMAN: In partnership with Al Maamari Tours, the Oman American Business Center (AmCham Oman) hosted its first ever family day on January 29, 2022 at Bait Al Ghasham Museum.  Professionals and business leaders from within the OABC membership enjoyed the opportunity to bring their entire families for a day out together. Attendees enjoyed a delicious Omani lunch and, following current health and safety guidelines, mingled and made new connections with other families.

Both OABC and Al Maamari Tours share the core value of conducting business in a sustainable way, considering the local population and helping to preserve the cultural heritage of Oman. “Inviting members and their families to visit the 200-year-old Bait Al Ghasham Museum was an excellent opportunity to introduce members to the fascinating and rich history of the building itself, traditionally a royal dwelling, as well as the local area,” says Jasmin Nutt, Managing Director at Maamari Tours. “We were also proud to connect with and support the local ecosystem, as the highlight of our day was the shared traditional meal, cooked by women from the surrounding village.”

“This was the very first time we’ve hosted an event for families instead of executives only,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “The feedback has been great – people are ready to make new connections in person, and find the OABC community a safe and positive place to do so.  We’re thankful to Corporate Member Al Maamari Tours and Bait Al Ghasham for co-hosting this wonderful, historical, eye-opening experience for us all.”

Located in the Al Shal’li village in the town of Afi, a 50 minute drive from Muscat, the museum is open from Saturday to Thursday: 9 am to 2 pm, and Friday: 9 am to 12 pm.

As the official affiliate of the US 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 is the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman. 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 165 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business council and networking group.

Al Maamari Tours was founded in 2014 by Omani local entrepreneur Mr. Yasser Al Maamari who has more than 20 years of passionate experience about tourism in Oman. The team specializes in creating distinctive experiences and the aim is to satisfy all types of travelers’ curiosity by creating safe experiences from a local perspective and arrange hassle-free traveling.  The team of Al Maamari Tours is looking forward to connecting you to the spirit of Oman.

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MUSCAT, OMAN: Oman’s most active business networking organization, the Oman American Business Center (OABC), hosted “Linked In Hacks” for member executives on Wednesday, January 12 at the Royal Tulip Muscat Hotel.

The session was designed to equip professionals from companies within the OABC looking to level up their own Linked In skills and techniques but was especially directed towards sales, business, development, and commercial roles engaged in B2B marketing. Unlike OABC’s first Linked In session hosted in 2020, this more advanced workshop required attendees to have prior experience on Linked In and an existing account on the platform.  OABC member and presenter Mohammed Al Tamami, known as one of Oman’s top digital stratagists, covered a variety of ways to “hack the system” and get posts seen, liked, shared, and noticed by the right people, creating new opportunities to do business.

The workshop included a brief time of networking and coffee, a presentation, and time for Q & A.

Tamami says, “Linked In, similar to any social media tool, requires utilizing a certain etiquette and specific methods in order to access the wealth of resources it can bring to us. Sharing my experience with others through OABC’s last Linked In session for members made a big difference to those who are now actively using it, and this inspired us to hold more such workshops. The focus of this event was to focus on that B2B and B2C sales aspect of Linked In: what to remember, what to avoid, and examples for those involved in online relationship building with clients.”

“One thing we’ve learned from the COVID-19 era is that sometimes without warning, our online life takes front and center and the physical is no longer easily accessible,” says Rebecca Olson, Executive Director of the OABC. “Linked In was a useful resource before, but now it is an essential platform for those in corporate roles. Its use is growing daily in Oman as a place to explore new connections, vet people before you meet them, or present oneself and one’s services to the business community.  Creating an effective personal and business profile can open new doors for both new professionals and those who’ve been in the business community for a long time.  As Oman’s largest and most active networking group, OABC is focused on supporting the relationships between member companies both online and in person.  We’re thankful for Mohammed Al Tamami for his time in preparing the session, and for his great passion in equipping others to excel in their own online networking.”

As the official affiliate of the US 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 is the official affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce in Oman.  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 165 member companies, OABC is Oman’s most active business council and networking group.

Mohammed Al Tamami is a Media Planning & Strategy graduate who spent 10+ years of his career working on global consulting and advisory assignments on innovation, technology and strategy, and is the Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of a young and upcoming financial technology start-up that provides AI-driven capabilities for the financial services industry.