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First job in Oman, advice please.

First job in Oman, advice please.

Old Jan 17th 2015, 3:21 pm
  #1  
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Default First job in Oman, advice please.

Hi guys


I am due to leave the MOD after 14 years and have been offered a HSE position in Oman as I have successfully retrained.

The position is a HSE superintendent for a major logistics and haulage firm for an initial 1 year contract, I can pm more details to keep details out of the public view if needed) and I am waiting on further details from the recruitment department for the company. I expect to fly out for an interview within the next two weeks.

I have been abroad many places, but not been employed away like this and have never been to Oman. I have started my google searches to help me get squared away with all the info I can get my hands on so that I can be as prepared as possible both logistically, so that I can ask the right questions and I don't get completely seen off. And sometimes its best to hear from the horses mouth to get the best out of it but also understanding the pitfalls.

I'm fully up to date with the employment visa situation and employer sponsorship etc.

What is normal clothing? I know being a Muslim country you have to dress conservatively, especially during Ramadan, so are respectable knee length shorts and tee-shirts appropriate? or is it trousers/jeans etc but it does get very warm.


Accommodation, I have mainly read that accommodation is arranged for you through your employer. My offer so far did not appear to include it. I understand that this can be tricky to sort out by yourself, often needing a whole years rent up front, hence companies fronting this bill to then deduct from wages if this is not park of the package.
Failing that, I have heard that it is fairly simple to "bunk up" in a spare room for the short term until something more suitable can be arranged?
Should I insist that this is arranged before hand?

Internet access, is this fairly easy and practical to arrange in private accommodation? This is essential to me so that I can continue my degree in my spare time. Same goes with local mobile phone facilities, data contracts for mobile devices etc.

Health care and insurance. What minimum level of protection is recommended? and is it normally arranged through your employer or should it come as part of your employment package?


Transport arrangements, I gather that personal transport is relatively cheap to acquire but if business travel is frequent will the company normally provide for this?

Banking, I have read that the employer should set up a working bank for wages to be paid into with facilities like atm/visa cards. But is transferring money back to the UK simple enough? I have been recommended Money Corps.
Also, linking in with accommodation above, I guess it is better to have a fixed address for applying for a bank account and mailing purposes rather than a short term "quick fix"?

Sending out some of my less important stuff. I will be pretty much limited to a single large suit case of stuff to take out. Essentials like toiletries, medicine and working clothes (see above) and my laptop will be the majority of it. But the other bits of my life, things that I can do without initially but will need soon enough, is it a simple enough task to get boxes shipped out and delivered to your employer? I know that it can take several weeks to arrive, this is not a problem.



Although I plan on only being there for a year, yes I know many have stayed there much longer, I don't want to over burden myself with white electrical goods, TV's, stereos etc but would like to know some recommended places to get things like laptops, tablets and mobile phones if possible.


The rest I should be able to cuff and work around unless I am missing anything drastically important? Any help and advice will be greatly appreciated.



Many thanks,



Monty
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Old Jan 19th 2015, 4:56 am
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Default Re: First job in Oman, advice please.

I am in Doha so I can answer only to few questions.

They say that Oman is a beautiful place and people are nice. It is starting to be a modern country so you will find lots of modern commodities and facilities.

Clothing: it depends on your working environment, but anyway shorts are not recommended. Long trousers, proper shoes and not sandals, and long sleeves. They also protect you from heath. Try to get cotton, line and not synthetic fibre clothing. Here in Doha they use a lot air conditioning, like in the USA, so sometimes you can be cold inside even if outside it is 40 degrees.

here in Doha usually employers provide housing, health insurance and school for kids, and help with the residence permit.

money transfer: we use Transferwise, we have a bank account in USD here and transfer converting into Euros. it is much more convenient and transparent of many other similar services. Usually banks and money transfer services are not so transparent and there are a lot of hidden costs, starting from unfair rate exchanges that they apply.

good luck!!
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Old Jan 19th 2015, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: First job in Oman, advice please.

A few comments in brief:
- I doubt shorts and t-shirt are acceptable. You might find they provide you with clothing if you'll be working out and about, and if not they'll probably tell you what their standards are. Check during the interview.
- definitely get housing situation clarified when you come for an interview. If you need to pay for rent then that is a substantial part of your salary gone (though Oman is cheaper than other countries nearby).
- I'm guessing this is your first civilian job....? You might be less used to thinking about the value of the entire package. When discussing salary, you need to consider all the topics you mention (housing, medical, flights, leave etc), and negotiate over the entire package-value. If you get a reasonable salary, but no help with accommodation or medical etc, then your package is less good than it first seems. Sorry if this is teaching you to suck eggs, but many ex-forces people take a while to get used to this way of thinking (coming from a set-up where cheap housing, free medical etc are normal).
- internet access in Oman is achievable, but it'll depend upon where you are living as to how easy it is to set up. If you are in company accommodation a long way from civilisation then it might be trickier. I would definitely assume that you'll have some weeks without your own access while you get set-up. If your degree will have hard deadlines for essay submission etc, then you'll really need to confirm how you'll do this while moving jobs and countries - or ask for a waiver. Maybe you'll be able to use company internet in your free time for study - again, ask in the interview. There are lots of posts on this forum (or the sandpit) about Omani telecoms, so do a search. Also you'll see discussion on banks, laptops, shipping etc.
- banking. None of my friends in Oman have had their firms open up accounts for them - they have done it themselves. HSBC operate in Oman and UK, which makes it a bit easier if you stick to the one bank. If you don't have one yet, open up an account in the UK soonest, before you leave (makes proof of ID and address easier), and show them your offer letter for Oman. They should then be able to do most (if not all) the paperwork to open up an account in Oman before you even arrive, which will greatly speed things up (it'll help if you qualify for premier banking). You can also consider a Riyal currency offshore account with them in Jersey if you need to keep a reserve. When transferring money back to sterling, always compare rates between HSBC and Moneycorp (including the effect of charges) to see which is best. There are probably other banks who could also do this, but HSBC is the only big western bank which operates widely throughout Oman.
-others will be better placed than me to comment on the rest. I've been to Oman lots of time, and have friends there, but I've not lived there. Its a lovely place, though - but very quiet if you will be living away from Muscat.
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Old Feb 25th 2015, 1:02 pm
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Default Re: First job in Oman, advice please.

Evening and weekends, shorts and t-shirt all day long. If you go out for a meal or a beer, obviously longer trousers as appropriate.

Accommodation - varied. Some employers take on the burden and cost, others give you money as part of your package. You should insist on hotel apartment for a month to give you a chance to get sorted.

Internet access is flipping expensive and depending on where you live poor. However, local cell-phone providers do have a decent dongle. FYI, I pay 50 quid for a 12Mb line - but only get about 6Mb at the router.

Health care and insurance is normally done through employer. But can be easily arranged through Axa, here in Muscat.

If it's business travel - they should re-reimburse. But again, up for you to confirm. You can buy cars reasonably cheap - just get it checked out at a local garage first. Petrol is as cheap as water. Insurance is also not expensive.

You are responsible for setting up your own bank. Very easy to do but you can only do it once you have your residents card (something the employer arranges which could take a couple of months). Until then, they could pay cash or wire it to your UK bank. Transferring money to UK is easy. There is HSBC here, I use national Bank Oman - very good.

You can buy everything you need here - it's a modern place. Some employers will give you a shipping allowance on a few cubic metres anyway. TV's white goods etc, either buy new or go to Dubizzle website or Muscat Buy and Sell

Last edited by Daz968; Feb 25th 2015 at 1:07 pm.
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Old Mar 4th 2015, 10:50 am
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Default Re: First job in Oman, advice please.

Originally Posted by Daz968 View Post
You are responsible for setting up your own bank. Very easy to do but you can only do it once you have your residents card (something the employer arranges which could take a couple of months). Until then, they could pay cash or wire it to your UK bank. Transferring money to UK is easy. There is HSBC here, I use national Bank Oman - very good.
Just following up on this....you are able to set up a basic account with Bank Muscat without a residents card. They are happy to take a scan of your passport until you have the card.
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Old Mar 20th 2015, 5:05 pm
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Default Re: First job in Oman, advice please.

Here is my advice on your case how the process work along
Bear in this mind first for clearance nature disasters is not an obstacle at all. Seems to me it is an excuse they are coming up with.

The medical test of yours has to be done in a GCC authorized medical centre and result has to be fit… you have to send the medical report via courier to your company where they take initial stage to process your visa.

Then your employer (administration department) will start below steps for your employment visa.

1) They medical report must attest from the ministry of health which will take maximum 3 working days.

2) Clearance copy which will match to your designation/commercial registration copy/attested medical report and duly filled visa application shall submit to immigration. If documents are satisfactory your visa will be ready within 7 working days.

3) If truly clearances are not available they can provide you express visa where as you don’t have to provide medical this will take 3 working days. Once you reach Oman your company can process your employment visa within 21 days where as your express visa will expire. If there is a will there is a way.

Now you know how to cross check with HR on your situation.
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