Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said’s decree creating a ‘stable mechanism for the transfer of power’ has been welcomed by analysts
Oman’s move to appoint a Crown Prince for the first time in the sultanate’s history will improve long-term investor confidence in the Gulf nation, according to experts.
On Monday, Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said issued a royal decree which promulgated a new Basic Law of the State, setting a specific and stable mechanism for the transfer of power in the sultanate. Importantly it also set the mechanism for the appointment of a Crown Prince and outlined his ‘duties, specialisations and prerogatives’.
While the law does not specifically name Oman’s next Crown Prince, it says that the duty falls the Sultan’s oldest son, who is Dhi Yazan Bin Haitham, a popular figure in the sultanate appointed minister of culture, sports and youth by his father. The law also details arrangements for the transfer of power in the event of the death of the crown prince.
The ruling by Sultan Haitham ends the uncertainty surrounding the stewardship of Oman which existed under the previous ruler, Sultan Qaboos, seen as the modern founding father of the nation, who had no heir apparent.
Ubaldo Tripoli, partner at consulting firm Kearney, said: “The amendment to the constitution by His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tareq, and the official appointment of Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said, as Crown Prince, mark the start of a new growth era for the Sultanate.
“Oman is firmly on track to achieving its ambitious 2040 vision, and this strategic move strengthens confidence in the country and its progressive leadership.
“The increased transparency creates a more conducive investment atmosphere for FDIs and long term investors, promising to accelerate the Sultanate’s progress towards becoming a globally competitive economy with effective governance. This in turn will improve the country’s credit ratings and provide it with long-term stability.”
It is the latest move by the Sultan since his accession to improve the competitiveness and economic health of the nation since he came to power.
How will things change under proposed labour law reforms in Oman?
Included in a raft of changes, Oman recently announced plans to amend labour laws, to significantly reduce or end long-standing subsidies and introduce new taxes, while at the same time, ensuring the protection of low-income families. This also included abolishing the requirement for expatriate workers to obtain permission to transfer to new employers.
Scott Cairns, managing director of Creation Business Consultants, said: “One of the biggest fears Western companies have when evaluating doing business in the Middle East is the consistency of rules and regulations.
“With Oman introducing a succession plan, that has allayed the fears of anyone concerned as to the direction of the power in the country. Companies can invest and operate with a greater level of certainty now, which will definitely boost confidence.
“What we advise clients working and trading in Oman, like any other Middle East jurisdiction, is to ensure they obtain timely relevant advice regarding compliance as the Middle East’s regulatory framework is on a rapid change trajectory.”
Source: Arabian Business