Pros and Cons of Living in Oman
Moving to a new country is bound to have many benefits as well as drawbacks. Here are some to help you prepare for this transition.
Oman is increasingly becoming a popular spot for expats. It's important to consider all the pros and cons to relocating to a new place, so we've put together some facts for you to take into consideration when making your decision.
Pros and Cons to Living in Oman
1. Extremely safe
Oman has a very low crime rate and it’s very peaceful. Any crimes that do happen are mainly petty in nature. It is a great environment to raise a family as it is a quaint and traditional society. Locals are known to be very friendly and polite.
2. Networking is easy
Muscat is a small city, so networking is not difficult at all. There is also a large expat community in Oman, so you shouldn’t have a problem making friends and connections quickly. One of the best ways to further your career is through networking, so make sure to put in the effort. There are a number of clubs and groups you can join to help you as well. Click here for a list>>
3. Cars and fuel are quite cheap
Driving in Oman is rather inexpensive, so much that buying your car would be much more economical in the long run than using public transportation. Oman also has one of the cheapest prices of petrol in the world. Therefore, very few expats use public transportation.
SEE ALSO: Guide to driving in Oman
4. High-quality international schools
The educational system in Oman is held at a high standard. There are many private international schools, mainly in Muscat, and they generally have excellent modern facilities. You will likely find teachers who have experience from the country related to the curriculum.
5. Beautiful scenery
Oman is known as the land of scenic beauty. From spectacular sandy beaches and desert plains to breathtaking mountains and fjords, there is no shortage of outdoor activities and scenery. There is abundant wildlife, including five species of turtles and whale sharks. There is also a variety of reef and wreck sites, perfect for snorkelling.
1. High accident rate
While the Omani government has kept the roads in excellent condition, driving here is at a much lower standard than in western countries and may take some time to get used to. Overtaking and tailgating are quite common, so is speeding, which all contributes to the high rate of accidents.
2. Everything takes time
Contrary to many Western countries where things move at a rapid pace, Oman has a much more relaxed way of living. Trying to set up your internet or opening a bank account, for instance, will generally take time. It’s rare that anything is done quickly, which can get frustrating at times, but you will have to exercise your patience and adjust to this new way of life.
3. A Western lifestyle is expensive
You will be able to find Western products in supermarkets, however they come at a hefty price. The same rule goes for Western clothing brands and electronic goods. Considering it is a Muslim country, alcohol and pork are limited and costly. You will need a licence to buy alcohol from licensed shops and its price will depend on how much you intend to buy per month.
SEE ALSO: Buying and drinking alcohol in Oman
4. Education is quite expensive
If you have children, schooling is a huge expense in Oman. It should be one of the main factors to consider when deciding on accepting a job offer, as ideally a company would cover schooling costs. Many schools will require you to pay all the fees before the first day of the term and some even ask for a refundable deposit. For a better idea of tuition fees, click here>>
5. No freedom to switch jobs
Labour laws are quite strict in Oman. As an expat, if you decide to leave your job and your employer refuses to give you a No-Objection Certificate (NOC), you will be banned from working in the country for a period of two years. Additionally, if you leave your job and then leave the country temporarily, the two-year ban will still apply, regardless of whether you have obtained an NOC or not.