Which job is best in Oman for foreigners?

Oman’s population in 2022 will be about 5.3 million people. It is one of the least densely populated countries in the world. About 800,000 people live in Muscat, the largest city and capital of the state. Also, according to some estimates, more than a quarter of the residents are immigrants. Most come from Egypt, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. Most often, foreigners come to Oman for employment.

Oman’s economy is based on oil and gas production and exports. Like other oil-rich Arab countries, Oman’s oil and gas sector and other sectors of the economy are developed mainly by foreigners: Europeans advise, and Southeast Asians do all the heavy lifting. So about 40 percent of the labor force in the country now comes from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

The best place to work in Oman is in the Middle Eastern offices of foreign companies. There, even a beginner receives 500-700 OMR, and he is usually provided with a company car, paid meals, communications, and housing. Specialists with experience receive 900 OMR.

Remember that there are no taxes for individuals in Oman – neither on wages, real estate, nor income from securities. In many ways, this is what attracts so many expats here. But on the other hand, companies pay taxes – of 15% in most areas, except for the oil industry, where the tax is 55%.

Successful employment in Oman depends on the skills, experience, and demand for the foreigner’s profession. Equally important is a good command of Arabic or at least English. The working week varies from 40 to 48 hours in different sectors, with weekends on Thursdays and Fridays. To find a job in Oman, use all available means, from professional social media to tourist trips to this beautiful country.

Salaries in Oman

As already mentioned, the average wage is higher than the rate in CIS countries and Europe. For example, work in Oman’s armed forces, which takes 2-3 hours a day, is paid about 2000 rials. And the salary of a mathematics teacher in an elementary school is a little smaller: 1,250 rials per month.

So the national average salary is $1,000 a month or more. But, of course, in Muscat, the capital of Oman, people are paid several times as much, plus the level is higher there. As a result, gross Domestic Product (GDP) income is $7,000 per month.

But these figures are relevant to the citizens of Oman. For immigrants, these figures are 1.5-2 times less. In addition, the laws of Oman stipulate that each company must employ at least 80% of Omani workers.

There is also a lot of competition: emigrants from India have a better chance of getting a job than people from Europe because Indians know languages closer to the state language of Oman – Arabic.

Popular jobs in Oman

To find a job abroad, you must pay attention to the hospitality industry jobs. The hospitality industry is one of the most promising career fields. To begin with, the hospitality industry is an industry that does not lose its relevance in either industrial or post-industrial society. Furthermore, it is not threatened by “robot invasion” because human attitude and care are more valuable in this industry than anywhere else.

On the other hand, a hotel or restaurant, unlike manufacturing, can be viewed as a single organism with open processes, so such establishments are particularly favorable to a career within the same organization. For example, there are cases when a junior waiter worked his way up to the manager, consistently passing all career steps. Therefore, a job in a hotel or restaurant for a person with career ambitions is very promising.

Waiter. Most often, this profession is chosen to make money. Experience is optional: you can acquire the technique in one month. Much more important for the waiter is the psychological appropriateness of the position: a person should not be ashamed of his work. To work successfully in the service business, you need to learn to treat the guest as a friend and to do this. It would be best if you broke down a particular barrier in yourself. Newcomers start as assistant waiters. The duties are simple: serving and setting the table. A newcomer is watched closely to see how relaxed he moves, communicates, and whether he gets lost in the hall. Usually, within three months, a person learns the complete work algorithm. The restaurant consists of many parts a bar, a kitchen, a sink, and a warehouse, and it is necessary to understand how this mechanism moves. When a waitperson serves a table, he has to plan the dishes’ order. This requires a knack for it. Work in the service sector also requires good physical shape; after all, the waiter walks from 10 to 30 km for a shift. And a whole tray with three dishes and drinks weighs a lot. So the waiter’s bread takes work.

Bartender. This job is considered more prestigious and, unlike the waiter, is already considered by many as a long-term profession. The bartender position is a stepping stone to professional growth for the waitperson. It requires more skills and knowledge and is more profitable. However, there are different kinds of bartenders. Sometimes they perform the role of a bartender, who serves some drinks. A bartender in nightclubs and discos is already a kind of artist because it requires a high speed of work and artistry. Some bartenders master “freestyle” – the ability to juggle bottles and glasses. In this case, you get more tips, and the customer will return to you next time. But the newcomer has to start small. At first, they train to be an assistant bartender. After three months, you must carry dishes, ice, rub bottles, and clean things. Professional bartenders often pass into the category of a sommelier – when a person knows the kitchen better, it is easier for him to communicate with the client.

Hostess. The hostess is the lady of the hall. Her main task is to greet guests and escort them to their tables. The first person, the client, sees upon entering the restaurant is the hostess. Her friendliness, in many respects, depends on the overall impression of the institution. That is why she has to be pretty and radiate positive energy. Experience for hostesses is not required, but knowledge of English is welcome. Despite such, at first glance, simple duties, in many elite institutions, requirements for education and cultural level of hostesses are very high. You have to be ready to sustain a conversation with a client, to answer his joke, and sometimes get out of non-standard situations, of which there are many. You can only do this with guest service skills – at peak hours, hostesses happen to take orders from clients, replacing the waiter. Just like waitpersons, hostesses primarily consider their jobs as temporary, but with specialized education can make a promising career.

Hall manager. His responsibilities include the operational management of staff and their training, quality control of service and cash discipline, and greeting guests. This person solves conflicts that the waitperson can not resolve, and after a meal, can ask the guest about the quality of service. There are times when he replaces the waiter. Often in the director’s absence, he takes over his duties, and the entire staff, including security, must follow his orders. They try to hire a person with experience as a hall manager, even though there is no explicit discrimination by gender or special education. Often managers grow inside the institution from the position of a waiter, and overcoming this first career step shows that the person seeks to make a different career.

Chef. Most restaurateurs recognize this category of personnel as the most problematic – it is difficult to find good cooks. That’s why restaurants organize an in-house training system. A chef must be well-educated and have brilliant cooking skills to create impressive dishes. You also need to be creative. It is a constant struggle against established rules, an attempt to go beyond the usual limits, a craving for culinary experiments, and a desire to surprise. 

A working team in the kitchen is no different than a sports team, with each player having exceptional value and importance. If each team member works with the most outstanding dedication, sooner or later, there is a synergy effect, and the team succeeds. This success is ordinary merit and the result of mutual respect. On the other hand, if individualism and separatist sentiments flourish in the group, it won’t be easy to maneuver such a team. In the case of a large kitchen load, it will even become a failure.

The chef must understand this and take his role in the process with even more responsibility. A chef has no right to be a lone wolf. Instead, this should be a communicative person who knows how to build relationships with colleagues. This is both the conductor of the orchestra and a loyal friend and collaborator in one person.

Unlike neighboring Emirates or Qatar, with less than 13% indigenous population, Oman has about 56% of Omanis. The authorities pursue a deliberate policy of “omanization” to prevent this proportion from decreasing. It aims to ensure that the best jobs in the Sultanate go primarily to its citizens and not to foreigners – who, incidentally, sometimes have much higher qualifications. Another component of this policy is significant restrictions in the migration law.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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