The Omani lifestyle
Published 2018-09-20 07:22

If you are relocating to Oman, it is important to be aware of the countrys culture, for business and personal reasons. Understanding the Omani way of life will go a long way in helping you get to know your new country. Oman is a friendly and welcoming country and very accepting of expats. It is also a country with a strong religious faith, with Islam being the predominant religion. Heres an introduction into the Omani way of life.

Business culture

Business culture in Oman is unique, as it is a blend of Arabic and expat (Western and Asian) culture, as the country has always had a large population of international workers. In Oman, a conservative and modest dress code is generally preferred, despite the heat.

A strong handshake with eye contact is the preferred way to greet a business associate, and Omani workers greatly value personal relationships, even in business settings. For this reason, meetings may be very long, as Omanis like to get to know the people they will be doing business with. It is important to be patient, as things may take longer to be completed than in your home country.

Both Arabic and English are widely spoken in Oman, and the work week goes from Sunday to Thursday. Friday and Saturday are the weekend days in Oman. Even if you don't speak Arabic, taking the time to learn a few words will be greatly appreciated by your new colleagues.

Oman is one of the most progressive Gulf countries when it comes to gender equality. Women in the workplace should be made to feel respected and valued for their contributions.

Omani culture

Oman is a welcoming, but conservative, country. Modest dress is appreciated, such as loose clothing covering arms and legs. The main religion in the country is Islam, specifically the branch of Islam known as Ibadism. Religion is very important in Oman and plays a large part in the daily life of most citizens.

If you are invited to visit on Omani household, it is recommended to bring a small, non-alcoholic gift, and to take off your shoes before entering. Conversations are likely to include questions about your personal life, including marital status, your age, religion, and your thoughts about Oman. These questions come from a genuine interest in getting to know you and are not meant to cause offence.

Good to know: Discretion is important in Omani culture, and public displays of affection are not considered appropriate.

Dining and nightlife

Traditional Omani cuisine consists of rice-based meals, often with tomato, meat, and fish. The main meal of the day is taken around mid-afternoon, and breakfast and dinner are usually small meals. Pork is very rare in Oman, as it is not allowed to be consumed by those of the Islamic faith. Grilled meats, dates, fruits, spices, and teas are all common in Omani dining.

Indian cuisine has been integrated into the Omani culture and can be frequently found throughout the country. In Muscat and large cities, you can find the most variety when it comes to dining- there are many French, Chinese, Japanese, and Italian restaurants, to name a few, and Western fast-food chains can also be found. In smaller towns, there may be fewer options.

Nightlife and bars can be found in Oman, especially in Muscat and the major cities, however, there are likely to be fewer options than you are used to in your home country. Bars are often located in hotels, and many also offer live music.

Useful links:

Experience Oman

Ministry of Tourism

Muscat restaurants

Things to do in Muscat

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