Dealing with emergency situations in Oman

Hello everybody,

Dealing with unexpected situations abroad can be a very difficult matter. In order to better help expats and soon-to-be expats in Oman face such tricky situations, we invite you to share your advice and experience.

What are the key emergency numbers you should know by heart?

In the event of a legal problem, an accident, a natural disaster, an injury or the death of a close family member, what are the first things to do in Oman?

What are the things to plan ahead in order to better cope with such unexpected situations (registration at the Embassy, transport, medical, comprehensive insurance for instance)?

If you have gone through such experiences in Oman, do not hesitate to share your story.

Thank you in advance!


There is no denying the fact that Oman is a fantastic country, with very progressive and an extremely tolerant set of rules, to help the expatriates lead a well-adjusted and comfortable life.

There are so many advantages going the Sultanate’s way. However, if there is one area for some serious improvement, then it has to be the emergency response system.

In Oman, the emergency contact number is 9999. It is manned by the Royal Oman Police’s Directorate General of Operations Call Centre. Sadly, it is not very (non-Arabic speaking) expatriate-friendly.

By that I mean, if the caller cannot converse in Arabic, then the response can be anything from lackadaisical, to even brusque. Not intentionally, I would like to add, but more likely due to the lack of conversational English language skills of the operators.

One can argue that with such a vast population of non-Arabic speakers living in the Sultanate, the operators of the emergency number would be expected to be at least bi-lingual, but alas, no.

Let me share my personal experience here. Over 10-years back, I was once involved in a minor road accident. And as any law-abiding resident would, I immediately called 9999 to report the same.

The person at the other end realized that I cannot speak in Arabic … and so he simply cut the line, without even bothering to find out what sort of an emergency situation I am in.

Thinking perhaps, something was wrong with the phone, I tried again immediately. And yet again, the line was unceremoniously cut. So I had to call an Omani colleague and request for his assistance.

When my Omani colleague spoke to the emergency control room, the person at the other end promptly noted down the complaint and initiated the required action. Obviously, after much precious time was lost.

I sincerely hope and trust that things have vastly improved since then. Though, I would not want to test it out !

Most embassies have their own emergency response systems in place for their nationalities. It is best to register oneself in their respective countries emergency evacuation section, in case of any emergency evacuation requirements.

Most of the time, we have no control over our circumstances, or our surroundings. That is why it is very important that we must consciously keep ourselves and our families safe.

Our safety and our security is entirely our business. And nobody else’s. The onus and the responsibility of keeping ourselves safe lie entirely with us, and not with anyone else.

So avoid taking unwanted risks. Play by the rules. In short, stay safe. Even more so, when one is living in a foreign country.

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