Life in Oman
Life in Oman is full of history and daily adventures. If you’re looking to teach English in Oman, you will be in for the time of your life. But nonetheless, no matter where you’re from, major questions will be” What is there to do in Oman? Or what does the lifestyle in Oman entail?
Oman isn’t a hugely populated country and none of its cities exceed 1 million in population. Some of the major cities include Muscat, Seeb, Salalah, Bawshar, and more. Muscat is the capital with a population about 797K people. Most teaching opportunities will be here as it’s the central hub of the nation.
Things to do in Oman
If you’re an outdoor person, Oman is your paradise. With a breathtaking scenery and sea at your deposal, the sky is the limit. A weekend can mean anything from going to the beach, turtle watching, kite surfing, wakeboarding, shipwreck diving, or off-road riding through the dessert. If you’re feeling like seeing some huge historic attractions, you can visit the Grand Opera House or the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. In addition, the Muttrah Souk is the most famous market within Muscat so be prepared to shop. In the Muttrah Souk, you’ll see everything from local clothing, food, rugs, incense, and more. Don’t forget to bargain! Most shops will accept credit/debit cards, but having cash is your best bet.
For you sports buffs, you can engage with the local sports scene. Racing is HUGE in Oman. You can watch events from horse, camel, and dhow (a type of sailing) racing. Also, there’s football (soccer), bull fighting, falconry, waterskiing, and sand boarding. FIFA qualifiers are sometimes held in Oman for you football fans.
Oman is an hour flight from Dubai and Abu Dhabi making it easy to experience the Emirati lifestyle.
Here are a few things to take note:
- Friday & Saturday are considered the weekend in Oman instead of Saturday and Sunday.
- Income for foreigners is tax free.
- Muscat is considered one of, if not, the safest city in the Middle East.
Dress code in Oman
- Women and men are encouraged to dress more conservatively and respect the local culture.
- Long sleeved tops are recommended.
- Trousers, pants, and (non-slit) jeans are recommended instead of shorts of any kind.
- You can wear beach clothes on the beach but leave it at the beach.
- It’s uncommon and often unwelcome to shake hands in public.
During Ramadan here are some tips on what to wear:
- Men and women both should wear clothing that covers from their knees up to their shoulders.
- It’s best to cover your arms, and not just your shoulders.
- Women should avoid spaghetti straps or revealing clothing altogether.
- Women should wear capped sleeves at the very least.
- Shorts and skirts above the knees are strictly prohibited and even though you’re a foreigner, local authorities can stop you.
Commuting in Oman
There isn’t a metro or railway system established. Taxis and busses will be your main source of transportation regarding public transportation. Foreigners do purchase 4x4 wheelers for fun and often lease cars for daily transport (depending on the city). Unfortunately, Uber hasn’t made it to market yet.
Entertainment in Oman
Nightlife in Oman won’t be the same-tiered level as western countries, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have a good time. Most bars, and pubs will be located within hotels such as The Grand Hyatt. Unfortunately, the cost of beer and liquor is a bit on the expensive side so you should be prepared for some budgeting. Live music is one of the main attractions for nightlife here. Live music venues will feature Arabian or Indian talent who will perform local songs and also western covers.
Like most countries in the region, the dating scene is very conservative. Most men and women will only be interested in dating fellow Muslims. Women often live with their parents until marriage. Also, they will have strict curfews while in constant communication with their parents. But don’t dismay, there’s a huge western expat population in Oman with multiple organizations and communities catering specifically to them. For women, local men will abide by their traditions and it will reflect in their treatment to you so your best bet is to date within the expat pool if you’re uncomfortable with the local traditions.
In summary, outside of your teaching experience, Oman has lots to offer. From outdoor adventures to cultural exposure, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to contact us at Teaching Nomad to get you on your way.