Living in Oman
Ever wondered what it would be like to live and teach in the Middle East? Here's a quick guide explaining what it would be like:
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. If you've never visited or lived in a Middle Eastern country, it's hard to know what to expect, so we've outlined a few important topics for you to consider.
- 4.5 million - similar to that of Ireland
Muscat is the capital with a population of about 1.5 million people. Most teaching opportunities will be here as it's the central hub of the nation.
Things to do in Oman
For you sports buffs, there's a pretty popular sports scene in Oman, and racing is HUGE in Oman. You can watch racing events that range from horse, camel, and dhow (a type of sailing) racing. Also, there’s football (soccer), bullfighting, falconry, waterskiing, and sandboarding. FIFA qualifiers are sometimes held in Oman for you football fans. If you’re an outdoor person, Oman is your paradise. With the sea and the sand at your disposal, the sky is the limit regarding all of the sports activities that you can do. A weekend can mean anything from going to the beach, turtle watching, kite surfing, wakeboarding, shipwreck diving, or off-road riding through the desert. 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, and don’t forget to bargain! Most shops will accept credit/debit cards, but having cash is your best bet.
Oman is an hour flight from Dubai and Abu Dhabi making it easy to experience the Emirati lifestyle as well if you're interested in traveling a bit during your teaching stay.
Entertainment in Oman
The nightlife in Oman won’t be the same as it is in 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 of the nightlife here. Live music venues will feature Arabian or Indian talent who will perform local songs and 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. Let us know if you think you're interested in a position in Oman, and we'll help you on your way to success!
A few things to 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.
- Oman is one of the more liberal countries in the Middle East, but they are still very conservative compared to western countries.
- Avoid erratic hand gestures or anything that could seem rude.
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 only at the beach.
- It’s uncommon and often unwelcome to shake hands in public.
What to wear during Ramadan:
- Men and women both should wear clothing that covers everything from their shoulders to their knees.
- 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, so taxis and buses will be your main source of transportation. Foreigners tend to purchase off-road vehicles for fun and often lease cars for daily transport (depending on the city). Unfortunately, Uber hasn’t made it to the market over there yet. However, you can ride off into the sunset on a camel, instead.