It was announced on 1 July 2019 that five new pieces of legislation will be issued in Oman, all aimed at attracting foreign investment and improving private sector involvement. These are:

  1. The Foreign Capital Investment Law (promulgated by SD 50/2019 and repealing SD 102/1994). It will come into effect 6 months after its publication. In the meantime, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is expected to publish the Executive Regulations.
  2. The Privatisation Law (promulgated by SD 51/2019 and repealing SD /2004), which will come into force on the day following its publication.
  3. The long awaited Law on Public and Private Partnerships (promulgated by SD 52/2019). The Executive Regulations will be published within one year. 
  4. The Law establishing the Public Authority for Privatization and Partnership (SD 54/2019). It repeals the law establishing the Omani Authority for Partnership for Development (SD 9/2014) and comes into force on the day of its publication. 
  5. The Bankruptcy Law (promulgated by SD 53/2019), repealing Chapter 5 of the new Commercial Companies Law (SD 18/2019). It will come into effect after one year from its publication.  

Dentons will provide further insight to the above announcement following the publication of the laws in the next Official Gazette on Sunday 7 July 2019.

Here, are some of the most significant announcements from recent editions of the Official Gazette:

Official Gazette 1297

In the most recent edition of the Official Gazette 1297, the Ministry of Interior issued Decision No. 92/2019 issuing the Executive Regulations of the Omani Citizenship Law (the Decision). The Decision includes four chapters dealing with original nationality and its recovery, general terms and definitions, grant of Omani citizenship, loss of Omani citizenship, renouncement or revocation of citizenship. Foreigners who apply for Omani citizenship and a passport have to fulfil a number of criteria.

Official Gazette 1293

In the most recent edition of the Official Gazette 1293, the Capital Market Authority issued Decision No. 2/2019 introducing the Acquisition and Takeover Regulations (the Takeover Regulations), which provide a regulatory framework for the conduct of acquisitions and takeovers of companies listed on the Muscat Securities Market. Prior to the issuance of the Takeover Regulations, the legislative framework dealing with the regulation of takeovers of listed companies was fairly limited. The introduction of the Takeover Regulations is a significant legal development given that further aspects, including compulsory acquisitions, reverse takeovers, and the respective roles and obligations of the acquirer and the target company are now specifically addressed.

Official Gazette 1292

In the most recent edition of the Official Gazette 1292, the Ministry of Manpower has retained several high-ranking job positions for Omani nationals. According to Ministerial Decision no. 221/2019, foreigners are banned from being recruited to a number of managerial positions. The decision also bans recruitment of expatriate workers to all administrative and clerical occupations in the Sultanate.

Read more about the ban on hiring expats in the Omani private sector here.

Official Gazette 1291

Ministerial Decision No. 36/2019 amends some provisions of the Capital Market Law. The Decision replaces Article (52) of the Capital Market Law (promulgated under Sultani Decree No. 80/98) with the following: "The Board of Directors of the Authority shall be formed by a decision of the Council of Ministers pursuant to the Minister's proposal. The membership of the board shall be 4 years, renewable for one term or a number of similar terms."

Official Gazette 1290

Ministerial Decision 200/19 included a freeze on permits for expat workers in private sector institutions that engage in construction and cleaning work.

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