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Oman law update - October 2014

An overview of recent developments to Omani law.

Quarterly Commercial Update

Welcome to the Autumn 2014 edition of Quarterly Commercial Update.

Trade union matters

2014 has seen a number of interesting decisions on trade union matters. "Sweetheart" agreements have been thrown under the spotlight, and the issue of whether the ban on secondary action is lawful has been determined. In the meantime, Government plans to carry out a review into "extreme tactics" has not quite had the planned impact, and the issue of what has to be considered when determining whether detrimental treatment for trade union activity has taken place has been the subject of a couple of recent cases.

Changes to Tier 1 Investor visas

The much anticipated changes to the Tier 1 Investor visa category have been announced by the Home Secretary. A Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules was presented to Parliament on 16 October 2014.

New Real Estate Development Law in Bahrain

Law No 28 of 2014 regulating real estate development (the Law) is the first law of its kind in Bahrain. Most developers agree that some form of regulation is required to strengthen the market and increase investor confidence, but as with any new legislation there is a degree of apprehension.

Quarterly Housing Update Autumn 2014

Welcome to the autumn edition of Quarterly Housing Update.

New landlord and tenant regime in Bahrain

No area of real estate regulation has experienced the level of confusion associated with rental laws in Bahrain. Law Number 27 of 2014 (the New Law) introduces a new property landlord and tenant regime to address this uncertainty.

Avoiding the ruse

Speculation remains a powerful motivator for many real estate brokers, but experts say stronger property laws will help rein in greedy ambitions

Bid to bulk-buy properties to solve housing crisis

Councils are increasing their efforts to buy properties, bring them back into use and then let them out at more affordable rates in a bid to ease the housing shortage in their area – and save money.

Big data could be the future oil of the UAE, conference told

One of the biggest potential resources for the region may be data rather than oil, a conference has heard.

New housing standards on the way

National standards are part of the government’s drive to cut costs, but will there be other consequences?

Overcoming obstacles

A number of local authorities will soon be receiving funding from the Government's Right to Build Vanguard scheme.

Arbitrating in the United Arab Emirates

Foreign contractors continue to look to the Middle East for opportunities to grow their businesses and undertake high profile projects. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) remains a regional hub of construction activity with many construction and engineering practices seeking to establish a regional base, primarily in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, with a view to expanding across the region.

Who’s who in housing law

Meet some of the leading lights in social housing law.

Legal View: Local authorities seize the initiative in tackling housing crisis

Local authorities are now playing a more powerful role in the delivery of affordable housing than could have been envisaged even a few years ago.

Security trusts: useful, but know their limitations

Putting security into a flexible ‘pot’ which can be quickly and cheaply re-deployed is attractive…the reality may not be so straightforward.

Quantity surveying: a bastion of male supremacy?

While preparing for the annual conference of the National Association of Women in Construction last month, we were saddened to hear of the passing of Beryl Foote.

BIM bytes: the role of the facilites manager

The value-for-money justification for employing BIM often focuses on the gains to be made from integrating the design and construction processes.

Sukuk market offers structures to build with

The sukuk market offers an important tool to combat the shortfall in infrastructure funding.

Macquarie to install solar panels on 4,000 Salford homes in financing deal

Macquarie Lending has signed an agreement with City West Housing Trust to fund the installation of solar panels on up to 4,000 homes.

Council plans to offer ‘bank’ model to other social landlords

A council that launched its own ‘bank’ to provide low-costs loans to residents is to apply to become a fully authorised lender and roll out its model to other providers.

All change: Office-to-residential permitted development right

The already complex area of office-to-residential conversions could be about to get even murkier, says Jacqueline Backhaus

Letter of the law

Helen Stuart outlines the risks of starting work on the basis of a letter of intent

Trio of new directors for Colmore Business District

Three new non-executive directors have been appointed to the board of Colmore Business District, including Birmingham-based partner Amardeep Gill. 

New joint venture model could deliver more homes

Trowers & Hamlins has called on landlords to collaborate using a new joint venture model to develop more affordable housing.

The future of affordable housing - Common ground or turf war?

Research into the changing landscape of the housing sector finds strong desire amongst key players to find common ground and cooperate.

Forum shopping - in decline?

The recent case of Young v Anglo American South Africa Ltd and others highlights the limitations on forum shopping and the extension of parent liability for the activities of its subsidiaries.

How the EU is shaking up procurement

EU procurement directives are being overhauled to tackle low bids, price bias and to open the door to SMEs. So what do contractors large and small need to know?

Negligence claims and the application of limitation periods

How are the courts applying limitation periods in negligence claims? Ned Beale, litigation partner at Trowers & Hamlins LLP, comments on a recent ruling and says further decisions are expected.

Bahrain Market Report: Steady recovery

Bahrain’s construction and property sectors are showing signs of recovery but there are still obstacles to overcome.

Devolution: Just the Beginning?

As the dust settles and there is either relief or disappointment at the maintenance of the union, the Scottish referendum has invigorated the argument for greater devolution of powers to cities and regions.

Families inheriting large business stakes can make terrible mistakes

If a major shareholder dies without a plan, their family and their business may suffer, says Rebecca B Wardle

Changes to a public authority’s obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000

The recent case of Innes v Information Commissioner [2014] EWCA Civ 1086 (CA (Civ Div)) has resulted in a revised interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (Act), now allowing applications to request data in a specific format.

Standing up for the little guy

Covington & Burling, aided by an expert trio of Swedish litigators, has defeated Russia in court proceedings upholding an arbitral award in favour of minority Yukos investors.

Document management peer panel: The madding cloud

Document management technology is changing quickly, adding complexity to the efficiency versus security debate

Learning to get ahead of the game

Stereotypical substandard student accommodation is changing, says Stephanie Canham

Boroughs and beyond: Royal Docks

On paper, Royal Docks should be a no-brainer. Just a few miles down the road from Canary Wharf sit vast tracts of brownfield land – and its redevelopment is backed enthusiastically by local and national government.

Rise of the rental tide

Following a review ruling on Sony's Soho office which found the company was paying too much as a tenant, Estates Gazette explores why this scenario might not open the floodgates to rent reductions in central London

Removing the planning block?

New planning minister Brandon Lewis has wasted no time in continuing the reforms introduced by his predecessor.

Coming of age?

Landlords have had 10 years to get used to being subject to EU procurement regulations but some still don’t get they could use them to their advantage, argues Rebecca Rees