Strategically placed on the South-Eastern coast of Arabian Peninsula, Oman is often referred to as the ‘dark horse’ amongst the GCC states. The reason being quite clear, a thrust-gaining economy, talent influx from all around the world and a smooth transformation into the most rapidly developing non-oil reliant industries. If not the signs of an economic superpower in making, it sure does vouch for Oman as one of the most ideal expat destinations on the globe.
However, to mitigate top expat concerns, a sudden change in lifestyle and the way of working is what catches hold of a number of foreign professionals’ career. The only hack that seems workable in such a situation is getting the knowledge about various aspects that will be quintessential to one’s work life in the country. So, here’s a discussion which will talk in the same regard and give you the head-start you need before relocating to the exotic Oman.
How Hot is it Here?
The country’s got a distinctive, hot and arid climate with mild winters in some parts of the country. However, owing to the geographical area of the country, the climatic conditions keep on varying as per the terrain, throughout the country.
Anyhow, you will find a number of people going for cotton clothing throughout the year. Amongst other things, warm wraps for cooler evenings in the winter, high order air conditioning in various malls, shops and commercial centers and usual mountain excursions are commonly found in the country.
The Employment Visa
Be it any job you are looking for, all Omani corporations require your work visa for you to lead a professional life in the country. These are usually sponsored by the employer hiring you. Nevertheless, the application process does include a tad paperwork and administrative burden, but it’s all an investment from the hiring manager’s side.
Owing to the same, it does stand quite tedious to change jobs in Oman, as the process demands an NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the current employer or exiting the country for a period of two years at least.
Family Visa for Oman
Family residence visas are generally given to the spouses of those holding an employment visa , along with the children under the age of 21 given a clear pass. An important fact to notice over here is that the same needs to be renewed in every 2 years, making the family visa full of multiple entries.
In addition to this, family joining visas for those travelling to Oman to join their working spouses are also provided by the country’s government.
Oman is one of those Gulf countries where there is quite a little taxation applied in various fields. Although there’s no income tax applied on salaries or the revenue generated through any mode of self-employment, but there always are deductions made for social security purposes. For instance, those working in private sector firms are expected to make contributions worth 6.5% of their salary to the old age pensions or the social security funds.
The Economy Going Brimful With Developments
Since way back in the past, Oman has been quite an instrumental player having strong control over the trade and business taking place in regions like the Middle East and the Eastern African coast. This sure did pave the way for the strong and reliant Oil and Gas (secondary) sector that we see prevailing in the country.
In 2014, more than 85% of the working population consisted of professionals from around the world. Not to miss, 55% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product comes from the secondary sector, which also seems a highly reliable option for majority of the labor force in Oman. As for the services sector, it is majorly promoted by the government of Oman. Be it tourism or international trade, the regime is making all efforts to shift to non-oil-reliant avenues for the economy, to stay strong in all kinds of circumstances. This becomes conspicuous once we are taking about projects like Knowledge Oasis Muscat, which seem to be witnessing huge foreign investment influx of late.
Facilities For You to Avail
Healthcare in Oman
In addition to clean drinking water and sanitation systems in the country, the public healthcare system is highly efficient as well. All Omani citizens have free access to different healthcare services, which is not the case with expats living in the country. It becomes direly necessary for all foreign workers to get themselves covered by a private insurance plan to stay fit and secure in the country.
Education in Oman
With more than 30% of the population under the age of 15, Oman has over 1000 schools to provide all necessary educational facilities for all residents and their families. However, owing to the language barrier seen in different Omani schools, expats often resort to going for international ones that are in abundance in the country. British and American curriculum are the ones majorly followed in these.
The best way to travel when you are in Oman is taking intercity buses that run between large cities. The public transportation in the region of Muscat includes Orange and White minibuses along with the famous Baisa taxis.
The Culture and Social Conventions Practiced Here
Needless to say, the official language spoken in this part of the world is Arabic. Moreover, the customs in this country are different from any other country on the globe as well. You will be more than welcomed, if you get acquainted with the conventions prevalent in the Omani culture.
Right from men and women abstaining from wearing sleeveless shirts and shorts, there are ways Oman seems a tad strict with regards to an individual’s conduct and behavior. Right from a specific way of addressing the seniors and rulers, to salutations brought in general use; you also need to work on your Arabic skills to make the right fit.
Things are endless to list. The bottom line is, Oman stands tall as a country harboring endless opportunities of growth in its bosom. So, do you have the zeal to make a run for it and make your career flourish in this exotic Arab land.