Oman - National Report - World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd Edition
Abdullah M. Alsaidi, Dr. Abdullah Alsaidi Law Office, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.
Originally from World Arbitration Reporter (WAR) - 2nd Edition
I. INTRODUCTION: ARBITRATION IN OMAN—HISTORY AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A. History and Current Legislation on Arbitration
1. Historical evolution of the Omani Arbitration Law
The Sultanate of Oman is considered to be the gateway to the Arabian Gulf and the meeting place of the Asian and African Countries due to its strategic location. Moreover, Oman controls the most ancient and important marine trade routes in the world, especially the petroleum industry.
As far as the law is concerned, Oman laws are based like other Arab Countries on the Islamic law (Shariah) until the beginning of the 1970s, when a number of laws were codified. However, the first codification of arbitration law in Sultanate of Oman started in 1984 by introducing the Regulations of Suites Hearings and Arbitration Applications before the Commission for Settlement of Commercial Disputes issued by Royal Decree No.32/84 which laid down the Statutes of the Commission for Settlement of Commercial Disputes. A complete chapter (articles 59 to 68) is devoted to arbitration. The Commission had absolute jurisdiction upon all commercial disputes and arbitration, i.e. the Commission appoints the arbitration tribunal chaired by a member of the Commission, or each party appoints an arbitrator provided the third arbitrator shall be a member of the Commission.
This situation continued up until 1997, when an entire new arbitration law was promulgated on July 28, 1997 by Royal Decree 47/2007. The title of the law is “The Law of Arbitration in Civil and Commercial Disputes” and it is based on the UNCITRAL Model law on arbitration.