Guide to Working in Oman
If you're moving to Oman for work, here is a general idea of what kind of work culture to expect.
Moving to the Middle East for working purposes seems daunting to the average expat. However, life in this region can be even more fulfilling than your current life in your home country. It just depends on your attitude when you move here. If you have decided to take the plunge and move to Oman, here are some guidelines for working here as an expat.
The first thing to note is that if you have decided to move here for work, you will be sponsored by your company. This means that the company will be responsible for you and your documentation. Often, the company will also be responsible for providing your accommodation or for providing you with an accommodation allowance. Many people come to work in Oman because the salaries are higher and you have tax-free earnings. The quality of life is also better due to the amazing climate, spacious homes and an almost non-existent crime rate.
Traditionally, women moved to Oman to work in careers such as teaching and nursing. Nowadays, the working sphere for women is broadening with jobs easily available in the hotel and airline industries. A single woman can move there and work in one of these industries with full knowledge and security concerning her salary and accommodation. Oman is becoming more and more liberal with regards to hiring women and opportunities in business and HR are becoming more and more prominent.
SEE ALSO: Guide to accommodation in Oman
If you are not a single woman but have relocated while following your husband, you can also find fulfilling work that will not take up all of your time but will cure boredom when the children are at school. Many women who are not very career-oriented take up positions in charitable organisations and do a lot of volunteer work in order to use up their time in creative ways.
Finding a job
It is best to come to Oman with a job that is already lined up and waiting for you with appropriate sponsorship and accommodation. The best way to find work in Oman is through a recruitment agency in your home country. Many of the larger company’s websites also have a careers section where you can upload your CV and cover letter. You may also want to try cold calling the companies by sending your CV or contacting their HR department directly.
If you want to come to Oman on a visit visa, looking for work may be more of a challenge. There are no recruitment agencies in Oman that deal with high-end jobs and due to Omanization, administrative positions usually go to Omani nationals. Furthermore, working on a visit visa is illegal and companies will not hire someone off the street. One of the only ways to successfully find a job is if you already have a network of contacts in Oman that can propel you through the gauntlet of red-tape.
SEE ALSO: Guide to residence visas in Oman
When moving to Oman for work, note that one of the best ways of furthering your position in business is to network. Oman is small and reputation is important, hence you should be aware of the way in which you act when in company, especially if the occasion is more social and relaxed. It is easy, especially for a career-orientated woman to get a bad reputation for something as minimal as saying the wrong thing to the right person. It is always important to maintain a good reputation.
Oman may be more liberal than many Arab states with regards to the dress code of non-Muslim women, alcohol and the role of the woman within society; however, it is always a good idea to brush up on cultural etiquette in business. The best thing to do when starting work in Oman, especially as a new expatriate is to observe the customary business relationships between people. The way in which they greet, how they speak to one another and general interactions between co-workers.
One of the most noticeable things is that many people may not shake your hand unless you offer it first. This is due to the Omani culture, the women are respected and it is usually not customary for any physical contact to occur between men and women, whether it is in business or social situations. Apart from this the way in which business language is used is also a lot more poetic than in the western business world. If you learn the cultural practices and sensitivities in the workplace, you are well on your way to having an easy and successful expat working life.
SEE ALSO: Pros and cons of living in Oman
Changing jobs in Oman is not easy and you may be banned if your employer objects to you working with another company in Oman. It is always best to stay on the good side of your employer. Living in Oman without a sponsor is illegal, so ensure that you have all your documentation in order before you resign in hopes of moving to another company. Some people have to exit and re-enter to country in order to move to their new place of employment.
However you decide to go about working in Oman, always do proper research and make sure that all loose ends are tied and the recruitment is above board. Be mindful of the fact that you will need and attested marriage certificate if you are married, also an attested college degree and any other documentation will have to be translated into Arabic and notarized.