How to Settle Construction Dispute in Oman

Construction is one of the leading corporations in the world with its market size of about ten trillion US dollars. The construction industry is complex, dynamic and thus involves numerous parties in an adversarial relationship. This creates disputes almost inescapable in any construction development. Disputes thus arising at construction sites are quite normal. However, such construction disputes may result in serious complications.

This article aims to provide an analysis of the methodologies in resolving disputes that arise in the construction projects. The article evaluates and classifies the different methods of disputes resolutions.

Litigation Process

The option of suing in the courts according to the Civil and Commercial Procedures Law No 29/2002 and the Law on the Simplification of Litigation Procedures No 125/2020 has an obvious advantage: any judgment can be presented for further appellate review. 

However, this option does not assure that the case will be examined by a judge specialising in construction disputes compared to arbitration. The litigating parties have the choice of the appropriate arbitrator. 

Finally, there is the matter of legal fees and costs. Are they recoverable? Absent a statutory provision and a corresponding claim, the attorney’s fees and expenses you incur will not be recoverable, even if you win.

Arbitration Process

Arbitration is often agreed upon in most construction contracts to solve claims and disputes between the parties, as the parties believe it is effortless and faster than litigation procedures. However, this has not always been proven as construction issues nowadays can be difficult and complex and may lead to arbitration taking longer in reality. 

According to the parties ‘ agreement, the arbitration shall be held before one arbitrator or panel of three arbitrators. The arbitration procedures are not very different from the courts regarding the exchange of memoranda and the presentation of evidence. Still, the difference between them is evident in the ease of coordination in exchanging documents, hearing witnesses and appointing experts. But most importantly, arbitration awards cannot be appealed even if they are based on an incorrect interpretation of the contract or the law, except for the exclusive cases of invalidity stipulated in Article 53 of the Omani Arbitration Law.

Mediation between the Parties

Construction issues can also be solved via mediation between the parties. This option can act as a first step toward arbitration or litigation if direct mediation or negotiation doesn’t work out. Although mediation is often misunderstood as a form of arbitration, it is quite different. Mediation in Oman may take place through Oman Arbitration Commercial Center, and the first Mediation rules issued by the center was on July 7, 2021

S&A has been working in dispute resolutions for a long time and has vast experience in Mediation in Oman

There are various ways to settle disputes. Whether in courts or arbitration, solutions and approaches to winning are always case-specific. S&A law firm has expertise in dealing with disputes relating to Construction.

S&A Law Firm