About Oman

Once a relatively quiet corner of the Middle East, expats have been flocking to Oman since the 1970s and the population now stands at a little over 4 million.

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Moving to Oman

Once a relatively quiet corner of the Middle East, expats have been flocking to Oman since the 1970s and the population now stands at a little over 4 million. This growth and modernisation was acknowledged by the UN in 2010 when it named Oman the most improved country over the past 40 years. There are around 1.7 million expats living in Oman today, with 23,049 arriving in the first quarter of 2014 alone. Partly due to the influx of foreign workers, English is increasingly widely spoken and British expats continue to be welcomed with open arms.There are currently 7,000 British born men and women living in Oman but, as the government looks to encourage more highly skilled workers, this number is increasingly cementing Oman as one of the top expat destinations.

Employment and Wealth

Oman boasts a strong, stable economy that has grown steadily over the past 5 years with the national GDP rising from 47 billion USD in 2009 to 80 billion at the end of 2013.

Oil continues to drive the economy, but other sectors such as technology and tourism are increasingly important to the country’s growth.  In recent years, the government has strived to ensure native born Omanis are given priority in certain occupations; there is still a great need for expats to boost the workforce. There is a particular need for skilled workers in teaching, healthcare, construction and in the oil and natural gas industries.

With 11 hours of sunshine a day and over 1,700 kilometres of coastline, it won’t take much to tempt you to Oman, but there are many employers offering exciting career opportunities and generous salaries. You will also have no tax to pay on this healthy income, although most employees have to pay a small social security contribution.

As an expat, you will need to have private health insurance, but many employers include this in their salary packages. Also, almost all British nationals moving to Oman with their children choose to send them to one of the private international schools which you will have to budget for.

Travel Prospects

The sparkling playgrounds of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are just an hours flight away, making them a perfect long weekend getaway. Alternatively, escape to the idyllic islands of the Maldives in less than four hours for a luxurious and relaxing break.

For those wanting a taste of the exotic, the stunning spice island, Zanzibar, and the jewels of South Asia, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, are all around six hours away by plane. Further afield, the western shores of Australia can be reached in just 14 hours.

If the heat of the Middle Eastern summer gets too much, why not flit back to Europe for a holiday or catch up with friends and family. There are direct flights from Muscat to London which take just eight hours.

But how easy is it to move there?

If you’ve decided moving to Oman is for you, a short trip to investigate and plan your move is advisable and you can get a short term visa for up to a month fairly easily.

When you’re ready to take the plunge and have secured work you will need to organise a work visa. Providing you are aged between 21 and 50 and have a written invitation from your employer, this should be reasonably straight forward. Your employer will become your sponsor and should help you through the process of applying for a work permit and residency visa.

Once granted a work visa, an expat can then obtain residency visas for a spouse and any dependent children. All foreign nationals living in Oman will also need to apply for an ID card to prove their status.

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