Muscat: History was made as the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) polls saw the election of the first-ever expatriate board member on Tuesday.
Abdul Latheef, managing director of Badr Al Samaa Group of Hospitals, the largest private healthcare group in Oman, polled the maximum 107 votes to be elected to the sole seat as an expatriate investor on the OCCI board.
A total of 21 candidates were elected following the conclusion of the polls earlier in the evening.
Abdul Latheef beat the other eight contestants in the fray. The others in fray were Ahmed Ibrahim Khalousi, Ahmed Subhani, Amir Tawqir Mudh’har, Ahmed Mohamed Redha, Abraham (Raju) Thanangadan, Abdul Hakkim Valanthara Mohamed, Mohammed Ahmed Al Sharqawi and Yogendra Singh Katiyar.
Latheef has promised to make the expatriate community a key partner in the economic growth of the Sultanate of Oman.
Ahead of the victory, Latheef told Times of Oman: “Representation from the expat community is a historic and an important step. The move will provide significant opportunities and entrust responsibilities upon us to support the expat business community in meaningful ways and help them become a substantial partner in the economic growth of our beloved nation.”
He added: “My main aim will be to work on making the expat business community an integral part and catalyst in the realisation of Vision 2040 of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik.
“I would like to represent the expat business community and pursue progress in business policy and streamline businesses, legal and economic issues and suggest positive changes. I will make efforts to further strengthen the position of the Sultanate of Oman as a global player.
“Another focus will be putting thrust and exerting efforts to establish more Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) for undertaking and accomplishing projects of national importance and pushing for more FIIs and FDIs in advancing various industries.” With three decades of experience in delivering quality healthcare services, Latheef said he will do his best to communicate and support OCCI’s efforts to facilitate business and ensure growth in all sectors.”