Relocation to Oman
Located at the southern point of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate of Oman is not as popular to expats compared to its neighbours Dubai and UAE (United Arab Emirates). Beyond its façade of vast desert plains, Oman is a treasure chest overflowing with dramatic landscapes, pristine beaches and majestic mountain ranges. Its humble reputation belies the country’s prospering economy as one of the largest oil producers in the Middle East. This country is full of surprises and opportunities. So if you’re already decided to seize your moment in Oman, here are some guidelines that will help you out.
Expats are not allowed to purchase or own a property in Oman, but you don’t have to worry because there are enough accommodations in the housing market. There are several ways to find the best rental in the country, like ask around your colleagues and other expats if they have any referrals or look on English newspapers for advertisements. The best and most practical way for you is to hire a local realtor. Aside from educating you about the neighbourhoods and having a wider range of options, they will also provide your means of transportation while searching around the city.
Most landlords charge extra for utilities like gas, electricity and water. In Oman’s central cities, the average monthly cost of these necessities is €55. Your internet connection with a minimum speed of 10mbps is around €50 per month while local mobile prepaid calls are charged €0.11 per minute.
House and Apartment Hunting
The two most common types of housing in Oman are apartments and villas. Some are inside gated communities or compounds. Based on your planned length of stay or contract in the country, you have the flexibility in choosing between a short term and long term rental agreement. Most expats are living in Muscat, Oman’s capital and centre of corporate offices as well as the commercial market. It is also the most developed part of the country. An unfurnished one bedroom apartment is roughly €700 per month, and a three bedroom unit is around €1400/ month. You can also find lovely villas in the metropolitan. The monthly rent for a 2-3 bedroom villa starts at €1600 while the price for a four bedroom villa starts at €2000.
International and Local Schools
The government of Oman pays great importance in improving the country’s educational standard where oil is the biggest financial contributor. Most state schools are controlled by The Ministry of Education like the Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat which is the only public university in Oman. You can also enrol your child in international schools like the Muscat International School where most expat children in the country are studying.
Moving Your Belongings
Moving your belongings abroad takes a lot of time and work. To ease the hassle, most expats hire shipping and removal companies who will facilitate the whole moving process. The average shipping time to Oman by sea is 18-22 business days, depending on your country of origin. All containers entering the country’s territory are received in the Port of Salalah where local customs officers will conduct an inspection of the cargos. For more information about Oman’s import regulations, click here.
If you are going to take your pet to Oman, you need to get an import permission endorsed by The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries Animal Health Department as well as a Veterinary Health Certificate for Oman from a licensed veterinarian. You pet also needs to be vaccinated against rabies between one month and six months before its import date.
There are only two types of public transport in Oman: taxis and baizas (small buses). Most expats find it more convenient to drive a car but as of 2015, foreign nationals can only import one car per year. Here are some of the important documents that you need to prepare for customs purposes:
- Vehicle’s Current Registration
- Insurance Policy (from an Oman car insurance provider)
- Valid Driver’s License
- International Passage Register (for a 6 months permit)
Moving abroad can be a bit scary even for experienced expats, but as you move to Oman; you will eventually find yourself being a part of its vibrant multi-cultural community. So once you arrive in the country, breath in and appreciate its beauty because as the famous Arab saying of the locals goes, Insh’allah (god willing); everything will happen at the right time.
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