When moving to any country, there is a lot that needs to be planned and considered, and Oman is certainly no different. There are many different reasons why you may wish to move to this country. A lot of people are attracted to Oman because it is a safe country, with a very low crime rate, which is why it is considered a great place to raise children. Aside from this, there is a large expat community in Oman and networking is fairly easy too, with many people finding jobs easily in certain sectors, especially in the education, medicine and oil industries. If this location sounds appealing to you, read on to discover everything you need to know before moving there.
Visas and Immigration - First and foremost, you will need to ensure you have all of the relevant visas and permits upon entry to Oman, as you will require a visa to enter this country. This is why it is so important to plan ahead if you want to move to Oman, as you will need to check what documentation is required by getting in touch with the Oman embassy, as this will, of course, differ depending on the country you are coming from. There are certain criteria you will need to meet to live and work in Oman. For example, you must have a marriage certificate, if applicable, a medical certificate, a birth certificate and a passport with at least six months outstanding. It is worth pointing out that you will not be allowed to enter the country if you have a stamp in your passport from Israel.
Cost of living - Most people will find that Oman is a relatively reasonable place to live in, especially as income is tax-free. Prices are the most expensive in Muscat; yet, despite costs being less expensive outside of the capital city, you will find that the choice is more limited. Thus, it is a bit of a balancing act, and all depends on what is most important to you.
Working in Oman - The job market for skilled expats is healthy, although expat jobs are not as broadly available as they were a decade ago. Nevertheless, there are certain industries whereby you should be able to find a job relatively easily. The most common jobs for expats in Oman are in the construction, medical, teaching, petroleum, gas and oil industries while the following jobs are in particularly high demand; language instructors, teachers, project managers, IT specialists and engineers. Nevertheless, for you to be issued with an employment visa, you will need to convince the Omani authorities that you are not going to put a local worker out of work. Therefore, if you have a considerable amount of experience or you have particularly impressive qualifications, you should have no trouble finding a job in Oman.
Accommodation - You will a variety of different properties and options to select from when moving to Oman, with most expats choosing to live in Muscat and the surrounding areas, such as Qur'm, Mutrah and Ruwi. Most people tend to opt for townhouses, villas or apartments that are located within a housing complex with high levels of security. While you have the choice of purchasing or renting, most people go for the latter option. In most instances, you will be asked for a deposit that equates to two months' rent, and most agreements are for one year and the lease is negotiable. Both furnished and unfurnished properties available, yet the majority of properties are unfurnished and utilities, such as electricity, gas and water, will be excluded from the rental price that is quoted to you.
Health Service - The good news is that the health service is of an impeccable standard in Oman, for both local people and expats. However, you are advised to have international health insurance, as the majority of the services are only free to the Omani residents. Not only this, but you will find that you receive a much better service in the private hospitals, especially as English is often the first language used in these medical centres and most of the staff are English speaking and highly qualified. This should put your mind at ease, ensuring you will always have access to a high level of medical care if you have a quality global health insurance plan.
Schools - You have two main choices at your disposal when sending your children to school in Oman; public schools and international schools. In regards to the latter, there are a number of schools that cater to a variety of nationalities, including British, American, Japanese, German, French and Indian, most of which are based in Muscat. These schools offer an exceptional standard of education, which is why a lot of wealthy locals enrol their children here. The facilities are modern as well, which is often reflected in the cost of tuition, which is why education fees should be part of your financial planning if you are thinking about going down this route. On the other hand, you may wish to consider a public school, with education improving in recent years, as the government have increased their spending on public schools. These schools are single sex schools, meaning girls and boys will attend separate schools. An Islamic curriculum is followed and classes are taught in Arabic. Young children may be able to pick up the language and adapt, however, this is a difficult route to go down for a lot of kids and you may have trouble enrolling your children in a local school if you are non-Muslim.
To conclude, hopefully, you now have a better idea of what to expect if you move to Oman. From securing a job to getting the right visa, there is certainly a lot that needs to be considered. However, with a bit of careful planning you can make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible. There are certain things you will need to sort out in advance, including your visas and international medical insurance. A lot of people simply put global health insurance policies to the back of their mind until they move country, but this is a risky approach to take, which is why it is better to take your time and search for the best policy beforehand. Aside from this, follow the other pieces of advice that have been provided in this article and you can't go too far wrong.