Safety Related Matters
Is It Safe To Live In Oman?
Oman is certainly one of the gentlest introductions to the Middle East that expats could hope for – it is one of the safest, most stable countries in the Gulf region, an example to and the envy of many of its neighbours. Crime rates are very low in Oman. In fact, crime rates in Oman are roughly equivalent to that of Japan, and violent crime is extremely rare.
That being said, living in a foreign country means having to keep your wits about you at all times. Political tensions can run high in GCC countries, although much less so in Oman. As it is in when living in any foreign country, it is advisable to let your embassy know where you are.You should take care not to enter unfamiliar neighborhoods or deserted areas especially after dark, or when alone. Pay attention to your valuables and your surroundings, and you should be just fine.
Most importantly, non-Muslims moving to Oman should respect Ibadhism, the local religion and a moderately conservative branch of Islam. This means no eating, drinking, or smoking in public during Ramadan, and ‘modest’ clothing outside beaches and pool areas (i.e. no shorts and sleeveless shirts for men, calf-length skirts and covered shoulders for women). Generally speaking, foreign employees moving to Oman appreciate the country for its safety and hospitality.
Driving in Oman can be an interesting experience. Roads are, for the most part, new and modern, albeit with a fare amount of construction. Omani drivers can be on the impatient side, and one must always be on the lookout for a wandering goat or camel, so defensive driving is a must!
A camel wandering by just outside the school…
Whilst building is taking place at an incredibly fast rate in Sohar, we still do have camels and goat herds that wander by!
What about Yemen & Iran?
Although it may appear that Oman is in the middle of a very troubled region, the fact is that the school is located over 2000 km away from Yemen. By having strong diplomatic links to Iran it has a secure and relatively harmonious border with that neighbour.
The border to Saudi Arabia is closed and it is impossible to cross from Oman into Saudi. The border to United Arab Emirates is just a few kilometres away and offers easy and convenient border crossing possibilities. Many of us spend frequent weekends in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Al Ain.
There is no sign that the country will be affected by the instability in the region. Oman continues to be a safe and comfortable place to live.