You might be pondering the move to Oman as an immigrant, it’s crucial to gain insights into the different aspects of life in the country. This article aims to provide you with valuable information about housing and cost of living, taxation, job and business opportunities, quality of life, social support and education, healthcare, legal and administrative considerations, as well as cultural and language differences.
Housing and Cost of Living:
As of the latest update in 2021, the rental prices in Oman vary depending on the location. In the city center, you can expect to pay around $500 to $700 USD per month for a one-bedroom apartment, while outside the city centers, the rent may range from $350 to $500 monthly. The cost of living in Oman is generally moderate, although ongoing economic reforms could lead to gradual changes.
Oman does not currently impose personal income tax on salaries or wages. However, discussions have been ongoing about the potential implementation of a Value Added Tax (VAT) system to diversify revenues due to fluctuations in oil prices. At present, the VAT rate stands at 5%.
Job and Business Opportunities:
While Oman’s economy has traditionally relied on oil and gas, the country is actively working towards diversification under the Oman 2040 Vision. This presents emerging opportunities in sectors such as tourism, manufacturing, fisheries, mining, and logistics. Oman welcomes foreign investments, particularly those that support its diversification efforts.
Quality of Life:
Oman offers a peaceful and relaxed lifestyle, blending modern infrastructure with rich historical and cultural heritage. The country’s diverse natural landscapes, including mountains, deserts, and coastlines, provide ample opportunities for outdoor activities and exploration.
Social Support and Education:
Oman boasts a range of international schools, primarily located in the capital city of Muscat, catering to various curricula. The presence of a diverse expatriate community ensures the availability of social groups and activities for foreigners.
Oman’s healthcare system is well-developed, consisting of both public and private hospitals. While basic healthcare services are of good quality, specialized treatments may require seeking medical care abroad.
Legal and Administrative Considerations/Immigration Process:
As a foreigner, securing employment is typically a prerequisite for residing in Oman, and employers often assist with the employment visa process. Family members can be sponsored under a family joining visa. It is important to stay informed about the evolving regulations on foreign labor, as the Omani government focuses on promoting the employment of Omani nationals, known as “Omanization.”
Cultural and Language Differences:
Arabic is the official language of Oman, but English is widely spoken, particularly in business settings. Omani culture is deeply rooted in Bedouin traditions and Islamic principles. Respecting local customs, dressing modestly, and acknowledging the significance of religion in daily life are essential for fostering positive interactions and integrating into Omani society.
By familiarizing yourself with these various aspects of life in Oman, you can prepare yourself for a vibrant and fulfilling experience as an immigrant, embracing the opportunities and cultural richness that the country has to offer.
Author: Pooyan Ghamari, Swiss Economist & Visionary