Heather in Muscat: "I was surprised at just how warm and friendly the locals can be"

Expat interviews
  • Heather in Muscat
Published on 2014-05-08 at 00:00 by Expat.com team
Heather is a Scottish expat in her twenties. Her husband was offered a position in Oman and they settled in September 2012 in the capital city, Muscat.

Why did you decide to move to Muscat?

My husband was working on a rotation basis in the Middle East and spending more time away than at home. Thankfully his employers soon realised that it made more sense for him to be based in Oman and offered him a live in position. This was our lucky break and as soon as he had signed on the dotted line we had flights booked for 3 weeks later.

How was the moving process?

The logistical moving process was easy, it was a case of booking flights and packing two suit-cases each. The practical and paperwork side of things took a little longer and we had to bring our wedding forward a whole year with only 3 weeks to plan a new one. Importing our large dog into Oman was the hardest part and required a lot of paper work.

What were the formalities you had to go through in order to be able to live in Oman?

Due to Oman being an Islamic country, if we wanted to live together then we had to be married therefore bringing our wedding forward.

Did you have to find a job in Muscat? If you did, how did you proceed? Any advice to share with the other members?

I found myself in the fortunate situation where I did not have to work and became a house wife, something that was completely new to me. To keep myself busy, I focused my attention on starting my blog and writing for a local magazine. This helped me to meet many new friends and try new activities to review.

Did you face some difficulties to adapt to your host country (language, culture, do's and don'ts)?

Coming from a country as relaxed as the UK to an Islamic country there are so many differences and I found myself scouring blogs and web pages for advice on how to act, what to wear and what to avoid. Women need to dress conservatively which was probably the most confusing thing to me to wear more clothes in the heat instead of less but you soon learn that in order to fit in you need to adapt.

What surprised you the most in Muscat?

I was surprised at just how warm and friendly the locals can be. They are truly interested to hear your story and how you came about living in Oman.

Is it easy to meet new people in Muscat?

Many people struggle to meet real friends that they actually 'click' with and instead tend to settle with others who speak their own language. You don't need to settle with friends, the good thing about the Expat life is that there are always new arrivals in town also looking for friendship.

Could you please share with us something you like about Muscat and something you don't like?

My favorite thing about living in Muscat is that there are so many different things to do and places to explore during the winter months. The coast lines, wadis and mountains are stunning and all so varied.
The thing I dislike the most is the intense summer heat. The temperature is brutal and everyone retreats inside for months on end.

What do you miss the most from Scotland, your home country?

The food! On my trips home I make the most of the foods that I miss all year long with Scottish foods such as haggis, mealie, tattie scones and a real fry up!

What does a typical day as an expat in Oman look like?

My days as a House Wife & Mummy consist of errands, cooking, yoga and social meets. Every day is different but allows me to spend time with my family and doing nice things for them such as baking.

What do you do in your spare time?

When I am not being Mummy to my baby boy I enjoy going to the beach, swimming, lunching with friends and finding new material to blog about.

Why did you start your blog, The Duncan Adventures?

My blog began in October 2012, the month after I arrived. Throughout my research of living in the Middle East I found myself reading more & more blogs online for a truthful account of daily life instead of travel & holiday websites which portray a shiny, polished lifestyle.
During my first week in Muscat I met a girl called Eliza who wrote the blog 'Pumpkin Polar Bear', I was inspired by how passionate she was about her site. She helped me to get started and before I knew it 'The Duncan Adventures' was born. Sadly Eliza has now moved back to America but we are still in contact and made a firm friendship through the love of blogging.

Which advice would you give to people wishing to live in Oman?

Be open to new people, places and experiences. You might just surprise yourself.

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