Expats in oman

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Expats in Oman leave with heavy hearts as Covid pandemic bites

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As the Covid-19 pandemic hits, some of the tens of thousands of expatriates in Oman who lost jobs and businesses have been preparing to leave the country many have called home for years.

Mohammed Rafeeq, 56, whose furniture shop collapsed after more than 20 years, has been packing his bags to leave for good this weekend. He is heading to India.

“I have been here for 22 years and my business went well until the pandemic ruined everything for me,” Mr Rafeeq, who had a shop in the Ruwi area of Muscat, told The National.

“It is hard for me to leave Oman and to say goodbye to many friends, not only my compatriots but my Omani colleagues as well,” he said.

More than 63,000 expatriates left Oman between January and last month, according to figures released by the state-run National Centre for Statistics and Information.

Oman’s population is 4,416,603 as of September 4, with 2,778,872 Omanis and 1,637,731 expatriates.

About 33 per cent of the expatriates who left the country this year are Indian nationals, with Bangladeshis, Pakistanis and Sri Lankans the next largest groups.

Ahmed Saleem, a construction pipefitter, has been knocking on many friends' doors in the last three days to say goodbye.

“I came to Oman in 1993 as a 19-year-old teenager and now I am leaving a middle-aged man. I lived more years in Oman than the country of my birth. You can imagine how hard it is for me to say goodbye to the country where I spent a big part of my youth,” Mr Saleem said.

“I made many friends but, unfortunately, I have to leave because my company is downsizing its business,” Mr Saleem, who was a supervisor at Al Sinani Construction Company, told The National.

A man buys watermelon at the Mawaleh market in Oman's capital Muscat a day before the announcement of Ramadan. AFP

Those who are lucky enough not to receive their notice of job termination live in constant anxiety about their future.

“I have lost count of how many times friends have said goodbye to me this year. Each time they do that, they leave a hole in my heart. They also remind me that I might be next to lose my job,” said Pakistani national Sadiq Khan, 51, who has been a teacher for 17 years in Muscat.

Human resources managers are braced for more departures.

“We expect more expatriates to leave this year. Covid-19 has hit hard most businesses in Oman." Mohammed Al-Hamdani, an HR manager at Sharqiyah Transportation, told the National.

“Companies know that it is not acceptable to sack Omanis so I am afraid they are left with no choice but to lay off expatriates to make ends meet,” he said.

Staff at Muscat Airport have been busy all summer catering for the departing expatriates and their cargo.

“There has been a hike of departing passengers, mainly expatriates, this summer, by about 25 per cent compared to other months this year. Most of these flights are to the Indian subcontinent countries,” said Ammar Zadjali of Oman Airports Managing Company.

Most were a one-way ticket.

Updated: September 9th 2021, 9:17 AM

Sours: https://www.thenationalnews.com/gulf-news/oman/2021/09/08/omans-expats-leave-with-heavy-hearts-as-pandemic-bites/

Living in Oman Guide

Expats in Oman live in a country at the mouth of the Persian Gulf on the southeast corner of the Arabian peninsula, which of course means that many of the expats there work in the energy industry.

Things For Expats to Do in Oman

An expat that lives in Salalah recommended expats "become a member at the gym of one of the international hotels" and to "go to the Oasis Club (only real expat pub/ restaurant in town)." Another expat in Salalah reported "the weather was lovely and I was at the pool 3-4 times per week. Swimming, sunning, relaxing."

Another expat wrote: If there is an American Women's Group (AWG), or other English-speaking group of women, join them, even if it doesn't sound like your thing. You will find a vast amount of knowledge, experience and advice, as well as new friends there. Although it sounds exclusive, our AWG has members from all over the world, including our host country, so you will make new contacts from a variety of locations. Also, if you have school-age children, immediately get involved in the school's parent volunteer or PTA program and volunteer for a committee...you will make friends faster, and that will be your saving grace on those days you feel homesick.

There are excellent restaurants in Muscat and also in Salalah.

Expat Housing in Oman

An expat in Muscat, Oman reported living in a Detached villa. The expat wrote that "this is typical. We have lots of space, marble floors. We like our landlord. But, we have an old-fashioned kitchen. The landlord won't refurbish it because he doesn't understand the British tradition for using the kitchen as the hub of family life. In Omani culture, the kitchen is for servants and the family would never set foot in it. So it's dark, with a small window, 70's tiling, grimy grout and an old wallbanger AC."

An expat in Muscat wrote: "as in most cities, the houses nearer the centre (though Muscat doesn't really have a centre, as it is spread out along the 40km main highway) are older, but usually have more character.

Cost of Living in Oman

The cost of living for expats in Oman is reported by numbeo to be 28.28% lower than in United States (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account). Rent in Oman is 35.40% lower than in United States (average data for all cities). When comparing the cost of living in Muscat vs. New York, Muscat costs even less to live there.

Expat Health Insurance in Oman

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

Expats in Oman are Subject to a Harsh Climate

An expat also shared that "Oman is a very nice place to live. The houses are extremely large and beautiful and the climate here is safe and friendly. I would want to point out, however, that the temperatures are not as friendly. From March through October temperatures in the city appear to range from 98 F. to 125 F. plus a humidity factor of about 75%-84%, or more. For the serious sports enthusiast, this means moving to indoor activities or swimming in pools that get so hot they have to be cooled for swimming. Houses are equipped with numerous air conditioners, as are all restaurants in the city, so it is not a hardship when indoors. It is even hotter if you are working in the desert! However, in November through February, the temperatures moderate and trees and flowers are planted everywhere."

International Schools in Oman

An expat in Muscat wrote that "the international schools here are excellent and there are many groups and activities available for everyone. All in all, this is a very nice place to live."

An expat parent whose children attended the TLC International School Azaibah reported: "We feel that TLC promotes posiitve relationships between parents, and the community. The staff are helpful, friendly and dedicate."

Sours: https://www.expatexchange.com/ctryguide/4684/210/Oman/Expats-in-Oman-5-Tips-For-Living-in-Oman
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Pros and Cons of Moving to Oman

Oman is widely considered the friendliest Gulf state to live and work in for expats but, as with any destination, life in Oman has its ups and downs.

Expats should consider both the pros and cons of living in Oman before deciding if this is the place for them. Below we've listed some of those, to assist expats in their decision.

Accommodation in Oman

With the help of the employing company, real-estate agents or a relocation company, finding accommodation to suit all needs isn't too hard, but there are significant things to note.

+ PRO: Accommodation is easily arranged

If arriving in Oman on a full employment package, accommodation is usually included. Some companies provide a cash allowance to spend on rent, and often let the expat choose a property and even liaise directly with the landlord. As Muscat is a small city, finding a home beyond the city centre is also possible – it's possible to drive from one side to the other in 40 minutes. 

- CON: Rent is usually paid annually

Although foreigners have recently been given the legal right to purchase property on certain developments in Oman, renting is often the only option – and it's paid in lump sums, annually or quarterly. Tenants must come up with a sizeable sum of money to cover the rent for a whole year if the employing company doesn't provide an allowance.

Lifestyle in Oman

The type of lifestyle an expat can expect depends on where they live, but there's always something to do.

+ PRO: Activities cater to the diverse population

Oman has a noticeable expat population consisting of mainly British, American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and South African citizens. It's easy to make friends with expats and locals through social clubs and organisations. As Oman caters for many different tastes and styles, there's something for everyone to enjoy, from bars and malls to the beaches, the desert and hiking in the mountains.

- CON: It's hot and can be hard to get around

The heat during Oman's summer is oppressive, particularly on the coast where humidity reaches high levels. Muscat is not a particularly pedestrian-friendly city and the only feasible way to travel is by car or public transport. It's best to travel by car where the air-conditioning can be controlled!

Safety in Oman

Oman offers a welcoming and safe environment to its locals and expats. There may be road and weather hazards, and in case of emergency, dial 9999 for medical assistance.

+ PRO: Little crime

Oman is a safe country with a low crime rate, so it's a particularly good environment to raise young children. Expats, whether families or single women, need not be overly concerned about personal safety in the Sultanate.

- CON: Trafficaccidents are common

Reckless driving is common and there is a high accident rate on public roads. When driving in Oman, it's critical to be vigilant of these risks and follow the rules of the road.

Working and doing business in Oman

'Omanisation' aims to encourage more local employment and to discourage foreign workers, yet the main reason people move to Oman is still for work.

+ PRO: Networking is easy

Although 'Omanisation' has closed off certain industry sectors to expat job seekers, it's relatively easy to find a job in sectors such as oil, medicine and education. Because Muscat is a small city, networking is easy and everyone seems to know everyone. Getting cosy with the corporate in-crowd will certainly have its benefits.

- CON: Work permits have strict regulations

Expats must be sponsored by an employer to work in Oman, which can leave people feeling tied to their employers. To change jobs, employees need a No Objection Certificate (NOC) which their employer may not provide, so it's useful to stay on their good side. Fortunately, changes due in 2021 will ease regulations and expats won't need the NOC, provided they meet certain conditions. 

- CON: Business culture is hierarchical

Although it's an up-and-coming city with a large expat population, Muscat is still an Arab city in a Muslim country. This affects every aspect of daily life, including doing business. Final decisions often rest with Omanis in top positions, who may have a different cultural approach to business matters. It's great to make a concerted effort to understand the culture and respect the customs of the Omanis.

Culture shock in Oman

Although Oman has a large number of expats, it can be quite a culture shock for first-time visitors to the Middle East, particularly if moving to a small, rural town. It can take some time to adjust to Omani culture and a bit of patience is required.

+ PRO: Easy to find domestic help

It isn't hard to find cheap manual and domestic labour in Oman such as someone to clean a house, carry bags in the supermarket or wash clothes. It's great to have a helping hand around the house, though this may take some getting used to.

- CON: A conservative state

Although Oman is one of the more liberal countries in the Gulf, it's still a Muslim country and one should respect and follow its customs and cultural practices. Displaying affection in public is not illegal, but it is frowned upon, and expats should familiarise themselves on alcohol and drinking norms. Westerners should also attempt to dress appropriately and respectfully.

Cost of living in Oman

One thing expats must get used to is the cost of living in Oman with a different currency.

+ PRO: Driving is cheap

Compared to the West, fuel and cars are affordable in Oman and, in the long run, purchasing a vehicle can be more economical than using taxis. Owning a car is also a good idea if expats want to visit rural areas or go camping.

- CON: A Western lifestyle is expensive

The cost of living in Oman varies, depending on whether one is in the bigger cities or the smaller rural towns. As a rule, it is higher in Muscat than neighbouring regions, but salaries are adjusted to account for this. Eating Asian and Omani food can be inexpensive, but watch out for the price of alcohol and Western clothing brands.

Education and schools in Oman

While public schools seem limited to Omani children, several international schools cater to expat children.

+ PRO: Good international schools

The standard of education in Oman is generally quite high, and private schools tend to have excellent facilities with many extra-curricular activities. International schools will often employ teachers trained in the language of, and who have teaching experience from, the country relevant to the curriculum. There are also many nursery schools to choose from.

- CON: Education is expensive

The fees at some private schools are undoubtedly costly. It's a good idea to check out a range of schools before deciding where to send a child.

Healthcare in Oman

Oman has some excellent medical facilities and expats should be clued up on how to access them.

+ PRO: Good private healthcare

The general standard of healthcare in Oman is high, both in the public and the private sectors. As in most countries, private healthcare is seen as preferable (with English-speaking staff, better facilities and shorter waiting lists). This is good news for expats, who aren't able to use public healthcare facilities unless it is an emergency.

- CON: Private health insurance is costly

Expats are largely limited to private healthcare, so it's vital to take private medical insurance or negotiate it as part of an employment package. Check that it covers everything necessary, including dental, mental health as well as general medical costs and emergencies.

Sours: https://www.expatarrivals.com/middle-east/oman/pros-and-cons-moving-oman
200,000 Oman Expats Deported, Oman: \


The Middle Eastern desert kingdom of Oman is a sparkling jewel of a country, with a pristine coastline, the sands of Wahiba, and the beautiful chaos of the capital, Muscat.

Life in Oman is exciting, with a  culture different from other Gulf states. 

For one thing, with a population of 4.9 million, it’s tiny compared to neighbouring Saudi Arabia. In addition, it takes about ten days to drive a complete circuit of the country.

Among the ancient forts and gorgeous Arabian Sea beaches, you’ll find a whopping 42 per cent of people here are expats, including 8,000 from the UK.

Expats find life in Oman easy, with low living costs, zero income tax and non-existent crime. Visas are straightforward, too, despite the Omanisation policy to prioritise jobs for local people.

Whether you dream of living in a quiet maritime village or whiling away your weekends in the seclusion of Masirah Island, you’ll need to be comfortable with the heat to live in Oman.

The climate is the hottest in the Middle East, reaching 40 °C in the summer and up to 50 °C in Masirah.

Let’s look a little closer at living in Oman and what to expect from everyday life in this diverse nation.

The Best Reasons To Live In Oman

We’ll start by looking at why expats move to Oman.

Living costs and safety

Check out the direct living costs comparisons later on, but Oman is a low-cost place to live, considerably more affordable than the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The capital Muscat is ranked 108th out of 209 cities in the Mercer 2021 Cost of Living Survey, whereas neighbours Abu Dhabi and Dubai come in at 56th and 42nd, respectively.

Personal safety is also highly rated, with Muscat recognised as one of the top three cities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for political stability and low crime rates.

Landscape and scenery

Much of the landscape in Oman is untouched and a heady mixture of beaches, mountains and desert. 

The Rub’ al Khali desert is five hours south of the capital, where you can race up 300-metre dunes, enjoy camel rides and camp under the desert stars.

The Al Hajar mountain ranges lie to the southwest, with canyons, mud houses, and caves to explore. 

If you’re fond of the ocean, take a trip to the Daymaniyat Islands, a marine reserve 20 kilometres off the coast, for snorkelling or diving among the turtles, rays and coral.

Convenient travel

One factor that brought Oman onto the international expat radar was the opening of Muscat International Airport.

Although relatively new, it was named the best Middle Eastern airport in the 2019 World Travel Awards. Flights to Heathrow take seven hours.

Economic diversity

Most Gulf state economies depend on oil and gas production  – and it’s still worth about 70 per cent of the government’s revenue in Oman.

However, the government is future-proofing the economy with diversification into tourism, logistics and manufacturing.

That opens up more varied roles in the jobs market and makes Oman a more attractive destination.

Cultural freedom

One of the challenges for expats in many Muslim countries is that religious law can be much more restrictive than Western lifestyles.

Most people in Oman are Muslim, with around 13 per cent Hindi. Of that population, 75 per cent are Ibadi Muslims, the most tolerant Islamic sect.

Visas And Residency For UK Expats In Oman

UK citizens need a visa to travel to Oman, including a tourist visa for shorter-term trips.

The good news is that in June 2021, Oman announced a new long-term investment visa, offering renewable residency status for five to ten years. 

Therefore, expats can choose between multiple visa options, including investment permits, professional work visas and retirement visas.

While the new investment visa doesn’t launch until September 2021, it will grant applicants the right to relocate within six months.

Work visas are available, and the applicant must have a confirmed job offer or apply directly for a Ministry of Manpower labour permit. 

  • Work visa applicants must take up the post within three months of the issue date.
  • Permits run for up to two years from the date of entry.
  • Professional expats must be over 21 and under 60.
  • If you decide to change jobs, expats must leave the country and reapply for a new permit with another employer.

The visa costs are payable in Omani Riyals, and cost:

Visa TypeCost (OMR)Cost (£)
Work Visa – for contracted employmentSix OMR plus 10 OMR a day for delays to an extension application£11.30, plus £18.83 per day for delayed renewals
Employment Visa20 OMR, with fines of 50 OMR for each month of delayed renewal£37.66 plus £94.14 a month for delayed renewals.
Express Visa7 OMR£13.18
Family Visas – for foreign nationals joining a family member or spouse who is an Omani resident7 OMR £13.18
Investor Residence VisaTBCTBC
Multiple Entry Visas10 OMR£18.83
Student Visa – accompanied by a letter of invitation by a recognised educational institution7 OMR £13.18
Tourist Visa – valid for six months, covering a 30-day stay6 OMR£11.30

Visa costs and work entry requirements are relaxed, primarily because Oman is one of many Gulf states looking to retain professionals contributing to the local economy.

You can find more information about applying for an Omani work visa through the Royal Oman Police website.

For Oman citizens looking to get permanent residency in the UK, check out the Tier 1 Investor Visa.

Popular Places For British Expats To Live In Oman

With any international move, it’s worth visiting the area first to get a feel for the country.

Amenities and nearby facilities vary, although expats usually have an accommodation allowance from their sponsor, so rent costs aren’t much of a concern.

Here are some of the best places for UK expats to live in Oman.

  • Among the most popular areas is the upmarket coastal neighbourhood of Shatti Al Qurum. The homes are expensive but come aline with a thriving nightlife. The Royal Opera House and chic cafes line the busy streets alongside designer shops.
  • Al Azaiba is an up-and-coming area near the beach, with mainly villa properties. However, it is a distance from the nearest shops. Al Azaiba is excellent for families, with the American International School nearby.
  • Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos is a sought-after central Muscat district, with modern apartments, larger family villas, and traditional gated communities. There are lots of services, including a vet and the British School Muscat.
  • Al Qurum is a substantial suburb, offering houses, villas and apartments. The nearby Sabco Centre and Al Qurum Complex make it great for shopping, and the beach is a short walk. Al Qurum National Park is also a fabulous place to spend the day, with flower gardens, a theme park and a small lake.
  • Al Mouj used to be known as The Wave and is primarily home to expats. The gated community has a private beach, kids playgrounds, restaurants and a hotel.

Cost Of Living In Oman

Compared to Britain, living in Oman is cheap. The weekly shop is around 22 per cent less, and the supermarkets offer a wide range of fresh produce. 

As an oil-rich state, fuel prices are low – about 65 per cent cheaper than in the UK.

Restaurant prices are on average 76 per cent lower, but you’ll pay more for gourmet coffee and alcohol in a bar.

The below table shows a range of everyday living costs and the UK comparison.

ExpenseOman Average (OMR)Oman Average (£)UK Average (£)
Monthly rent – one-bed city centre apartment220 OMR£414£750
Monthly rent – three-bed non-central home260 OMR£489£965
Nursery fees per month66 OMR£124£931
International school fees per year2,490 OMR£4,680£13,157
Monthly gym membership22 OMR£40£31
Utilities per month26 OMR£48£154
Broadband per month30 OMR£56£31
Monthly public transport pass15 OMR£28£65
Bottle of imported beer3.57 OMR£6.71£1.92
Loaf of bread0.40 OMR£0.76£0.98
Cup of coffee1.68 OMR£3.15£2.76
Meal for two10 OMR£18.79£50

Getting Around In Oman

There are several transport options in Oman, including affordable and reliable public transport.

If you decide to drive, you can use a UK licence, but only if valid for at least a year. Newer drivers have to take a test for an Omani driving permit.

Buses link every part of Oman, from Sohar, a port town up in the north, to Salalah 620 miles to the south. Mwasalat, the government-owned provider, runs the buses.

You can opt for taxis and ride-hailing apps for shorter trips, but it’s best to negotiate a price with the driver before they set off.

Muscat’s taxi fares have risen steeply, so drivers will often ask whether you prefer a fixed-rate or the metered fare. The difference in cost can be significant.

There are also shared taxis or baiza small buses – they don’t have the air-con of the larger coaches, but they are cheaper.

The orange and white wilayat taxis are privately owned and don’t have meters. So you’ll want to agree on a price in advance if you hail one of these cabs.

Most cabbies will stop along the way and let other people in to share with you. That’s normal, so don’t be offended if someone else hails down a cab you’re already travelling in.

Other transport options include:

  • Ferry services, connecting the multiple islands and Musandam up in the far north. In addition, you can travel to Diba or Masirah Island and bring your car with you.
  • Rental cars are openly available. You drive on the right and will need a valid British or Omani license. However, be careful on the road as the wadis and desert regions are home to camels and donkeys, which pay no attention to the rule of the road.
  • Oman Air and a budget option offer short-haul trips between Muscat and Salalah, which cost about 26 OMR (£72) one-way during the high season.

Muscat International Airport is the primary terminal, but you can also travel in or out of Salalah International or Khasab Airport.

Finding Work As An Expat In Oman

Securing work in Oman is much easier before you travel – particularly given the extra hoops to jump through without an Omani sponsor.

There are high demands for skilled expats, but you can’t work on a visitor visa, so it’s not wise to chance your arm and hope you find work.

It’s also better to have a job confirmed since a sponsor will be familiar with the visa process, help you find a home, and go out of their way to ensure you settle in.

The primary industries in Oman are:

  • Oil and gas production refining and production
  • Construction, steel, cement and chemicals.
  • Trade industries and commerce.

The Omani government is pouring investment into diversification as oil reserves drop, and there are nationwide business incentives, including free trade zones.

There aren’t any recruitment agencies in Oman, so the best way to find work is through an international agency that specialises in expat employment.

Given the regulations on Omanisation, lower-skilled jobs will always go to a local, so you’ll need a degree, professional qualification or skill set to land yourself a reasonable income.

You can search for vacancies through web portals OpenSooq, Bayt, Monster Gulf, GoToGulf and Naukri Gulf.

Education In Oman For Expat Families

Good schooling is essential for expats with kids and something you’ll need to budget for in Oman since foreign national children attend a private school – primarily international schools that follow the US or UK curriculums.

There is a quirk in that you’ll need to have any education certificates verified.

That applies to professional qualifications you’re using for a job application and certificates to demonstrate capabilities achieved by children.

You can have a UK document legalised in the UK at the cost of £30 a copy, plus postage, through The Legislation Office.

Schools in Oman work on a system called six-three-three. That means:

  • Primary education runs for six years from age six – but is not compulsory.
  • Preparatory education lasts for three.
  • Secondary education runs for a further three years.

Education in Oman is disparate. There isn’t any law that says children need to go to school, although around 76 per cent of children now enrol.

Prep schools follow after the primary, equivalent to first grade.

There are several popular expat schools, including:

  • The International School of Oman
  • The American International School of Muscat
  • The British International School

Expats can look for the nearest Omani international schools through the International Schools Database.

Culture And Laws In Oman

While Oman is more liberal than many Arabic countries, it’s still essential to respect the culture.

Appropriate dress

Women must cover their arms and shoulders. Most people wear trousers, but a dress or skirt needs to reach below the knee. 

  • Most women in Oman carry shawls or scarves to cover their hair, as required in more conservative areas.
  • In terms of clothing style, especially in the rural regions, it’s wise to err on the conservative side.
  • Regular clothes in the UK, such as combat trousers, ripped jeans, controversial slogans or piercings, don’t tend to go down well.

However, you can dress however you wish in the tourist areas and gated communities, although women should only wear bikinis or scant clothing on the beach or at the pool.

Omani customs

As with much of the Gulf, raising your voice or arguing in public is considered offensive. 

This rule is vital when driving, as even in the chaos of Muscat traffic, it’s dangerous to wave your hand in frustration as the police could interpret the signal the wrong way.

Omani social norms

Omanis use traditional Arabic greetings, which can seem elaborate for British expats.

Men and women relatives and close friends kiss on the opposite cheek, although men opt for a handshake; otherwise, men and women do not touch physically, and you should never offer your hand to anyone unless they offer first.

Omanis are hospitable, and even tour hosts will often invite guests to their homes for coffee and eat dates. Expats asked for dinner should take a gift, usually chocolates.

Always take your shoes off when visiting a home in Oman.

It’s also worth knowing that you should accept any food or drink offered, whether you like it or not. Refusing is considered rude.

Making friends in Oman

Steer clear of taboo conversation topics, but don’t be surprised if Omanis ask you personal questions about your kids, religion or age.

  • Being asked your age might be a little odd in the UK, but it’s a typical question to get to know you better.
  • Omani people are notably proud of their nation, so avoid anything that they could construe as criticism. It’s also essential never to make any negative comments about the Islamic faith.
  • If you don’t follow a religion, it is often easiest to say that you are Christian. Omanis find it difficult to accept any form of agnosticism or atheism.

Politics is also worth avoiding, and any criticism of the Sultan could land an expat in hot water.

Advice for female expats in Oman

The rules around travel and dress for women in Oman are far more progressive than in many Arabic states, although conservative dress codes still apply.

Some people do find western women on their own a novelty.

This attitude can make travelling alone a little isolating since Omani men will almost always ignore solo women intentionally, but it’s out of respect, nothing more.

Expat Guide To Living In Oman FAQ

Is Oman a safe place for British expats to Live?

Yes, Oman is a low crime country. Tourists are welcome, people are amicable, and crime rates are low. 
The only criminal activity tends to be petty street theft, but serious crime is unusual. The Royal Oman Police are honest, helpful, and notoriously efficient.
Driving can be stressful in Muscat due to the number of vehicles on the road but provided you avoid road rage incidents; it’s rarely dangerous.

What language do people speak in Oman?

The primary Omani language is Arabic, and it’s worth learning at least a little of the lingo to get around and make friends. 
However, nearly everybody speaks English, and it’s taught at school from primary age.
Road signs in Oman show both Arabic and English, and there are a few other languages in some regions, such as Urdu, Balochi and Indian dialects.

Can British expats buy property in Oman?

Expats can buy properties in Oman, but only in selected areas. 
Seek local advice before proceeding with investment since there are several regulations to work around.
British nationals can purchase:
1. Al Mouj and Muscat Hills homes
2. Properties in the Shangri-La Al Jissah development
3. Homes in Jebel Sifah and Muscat Bay

How easy is it to get an Omani Resident’s Visa?

Visa applications for Oman are cheap and relatively straightforward. However, if you intend to work in the country, you’ll usually need a job offer in advance, and then your employer will help with the work permit process.
The employer acts as your sponsor and will organise your labour permit.

How long does it take to get to Oman From the UK?

You can fly to Muscat in just over seven hours from the UK.
Most UK flights to Muscat depart from Heathrow, and you can book flights with British Airways, Etihad, Turkish Airlines and Gulf Air, among others.

Middle East Guides

Other middle east country guides can be found following the links below

Related Articles and Insights

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Oman expats in

No, Lerochka is not like that. She, even when she was dancing with him, made it clear that he was not pleasant to her, therefore she turned him off. And I know that if someone does not like her, she will lie down with bones, but she will not give it, for nothing.

Why expats love Oman? - Oman National Day - The Arabian Stories

She was beautiful, but her beauty did not save her. The evidence was indisputable, and the Kaliniytsy and their accomplices were not taken prisoner. The verdict was cruel, she was thrown from Kidrov Most, under which two currents form a whirlpool all year round.

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She left the office and, apparently, went to the bathroom. Out of nothing to do, I looked at her computer monitor and, out of curiosity, opened one of the many bookmarks. While waiting for me, Lena was surfing the Internet and to my surprise, the bookmark displayed some kind of porn site.

One glance was enough to understand that I was not in my business and I quickly came back, made a smart face and continued to wait blankly for Lena, looking. At the poster with the top model on the wall.

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