Oman – An Arab State You’ve Yet to Discover

Oman – An Arab State You’ve Yet to Discover

Considering a change of scenery to Oman? This Arab nation has much to offer people looking for a new way of life and a change in their careers. From dazzling and unspoiled landscapes, rich marine life and a stable political environment to a low crime rate, a rich cultural heritage, and genuinely hospitable people.

Career opportunities plentiful

Granted, jobs for non-residents in Oman are not quite as widely available as they were ten years ago. In order for an expat to be issued with an employment visa, the Omani authorities need to be swayed that a local worker cannot adequately fill the position; this is similar to the national programs seen elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula. This consideration may negatively affect some mid-level or entry-level employees. However, those with particularly impressive qualifications, or years of experience of working at the top level in their industry, should not struggle to find attractive opportunities in Oman. The Omani job market for skilled foreign workers is still very healthy.

The most common jobs for those seeking employment in Oman are found in the oil, gas, petroleum, education, medical and construction industries. Specific occupations in high demand include engineers, Information Technology specialists, project managers, teachers and English-language instructors. Another of the en vogue career opportunities found in Oman can be found in the auditing industry. Given the rather recent global economic downturn, the rise of opportunities in this discipline should be unsurprising.

Unique aspects of Omani careers

Salaries in Oman are usually similar to or greater than those paid in western countries. In addition to one’s salary, contract workers are awarded an indemnity at the end of the contract period. Indemnities are end-of-contract gratuities which are required by law to be paid to international (non-resident) workers; this is a monetary “thank-you” for being of service to the Omani state. Indemnities usually amount to 15 days of pay per year of employment for the first three years, and a month’s salary per year of employment after that.

Oman, as a traditionally Muslim state, upholds Friday as a day of rest. As such, there is no traditional weekend (Saturday/Sunday) as there is in the West. Typically, internationals will have a Friday/Saturday “weekend,” although some companies will insist on a Thursday/Friday weekend.

Large and vibrant expatriate community

Oman boosts a significant expat population. This consists mostly of British, American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealander and South African nationals. The vast majority of this population can be found in the capital, Muscat. It is the sultanate’s most developed city with shopping malls, restaurants, bars, social clubs and the best entertainment venues. Because of the large expat population and numerous expat social clubs, it’s easy to live a more Western lifestyle, making the transition to the Middle East more comfortable for many expatriates.

Driving is cheap

Transportation costs are a great incentive to life in Oman. Compared to the West, fuel and vehicle costs are quite cheap in Oman. For many expats, purchasing your own automobile can be much more economical than using public transportation. Because taxis and buses are the only feasible form of transportation, purchasing a car is a prudent decision for those who want to visit rural areas or go camping, or are required to travel frequently for their professional duties.

Taxes in Oman

Another of the great incentives for expats moving to Oman is that there is no personal or income tax levied against your salary each month. There are not even tax forms to be completed, and no returns to file with the Ministry of Finance. The only potential deduction from your Omani salary that could arise would be a 6 and a half percent contribution to a social security fund for welfare benefits and old age pension. However, it is frequently seen that your employer will waive this obligation as well.

After discovering all the fabulous aspects the sultanate has to offer, are you still nervous about the prospect of starting a new life in Oman?

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