MOVING TO MUSCAT, OMAN?
Those working in construction are lucky to be in an industry that allows for fluid movement in their specialist fields all over the globe, with countries like Oman boasting huge opportunities for experienced expats.
Deciding to up-sticks for a new job can be a huge step to take – especially if you decide to move to somewhere as culturally different as the Middle East. Learning about new cultures and economical differences will go a long way in helping the adapting process and will contribute to your overall enjoyment of this new experience.
With the construction market being continually abundant in Muscat, Oman's capital, we compile a list of important pros and cons to help you make that all important decision.
One of the most attractive things about working in the Middle East, and indeed Muscat, is the excellent tax free salaries attached to the role (hoorah!). With over 600,000 foreigners, and growing, working in the Construction sector in Oman (according to Times of Oman), the promise of a tax free salary has proved successful in pulling in workers who contribute to the country’s overall economy.
Having said this, it’s vital to remember that the Omani Rial is pegged to the US dollar, so salaries can fluctuate.
Driving in Oman is cheap while western familiarities, like buying alcohol, is expensive. You’ll need an alcohol license to buy alcohol in Muscat which can be quite difficult to obtain.
Before deciding on taking a new role in Muscat, you will have discussed an expat package with your new employer which usually includes accommodation. On some occasions, you may be given staff accommodation on a compound, and in other circumstances, your prospective employer will give you cash allowance to spend on rent, allowing you to choose property yourself.
Buying property in Muscat, on the other hand, is a little more difficult. Developments in the city (at present time) are not close to being finished yet, meaning you’d have to wait a fairly long time before your property could become available to you.
If you’re taking a family to Muscat, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a large expat community there, and so education here is widely accessible for international children, with the curriculum being appropriate to that in the West. Research the schools available before flying to ensure that you will be sending your child to a reputable school.
When negotiating an expat package with your future employer, however, be sure to discuss schooling as an integrated component as education fees can be rather expensive.
LIFE IN MUSCAT, OMAN
The weather in Muscat is consistently beautiful – perfect for those who prefer the exotic climate (who doesn’t love the sun?!). But remember that temperatures do reach super high levels which can be a bit of a shock when first starting out here.
While Oman is one of the most liberal countries in the Gulf, it is still a Muslim country that expects a level of respect from its visitors and Westerners should look to dress appropriately – cover the shoulders and wear knee length clothing at the least. It is not permitted to shake the hand of an Omani woman either, for example, so take note of cultural norms in Oman before arriving.
Muscat’s lifestyle is generally easy going with extremely low levels of crime which makes for an attractive city to bring up a family in. Because Muscat is popular with Westerners, it is well developed with shopping malls, restaurants and bars, so it’s easy to maintain a lifestyle you’re used to having back home.
If you’re thinking about furthering your career in Oman, or the Middle East, then give our international department a call. Our consultants will be happy to discuss opportunities and give you any further advice to help you with your big move!
Author: Kayley Loveridge