Teaching in Oman
The Sultanate of Oman, tucked on the southeast of Saudi Arabia just at the entrance of the Persian Gulf, is probably the most attractive destination in the Middle East with its beautiful, sandy white beaches, towering mountains, beautiful oasis and rich history.
Governed by an absolute monarchy under Sultan Qaboos Said Al Said, Oman is one of the first nations in the Middle East, and arguably the most successful, at diversifying its economy. Don’t get us wrong – Oman is still heavily reliant on revenues from oil and natural gas. However, low global oil and gas prices, coupled with the country’s dwindling reserves, have placed great economic pressure on the nation. Nevertheless, Oman still boasts of one of the highest per capita incomes in the world – though not so much for the cheap immigrant labour, which makes up almost half of its workforce.
The country’s capital, Muscat, is a modern cosmopolitan with the usual Western amenities such as shopping complexes, cinemas and bars. There is a large population of expatriates living in the city, so you’ll never be short of company. Even Erik Prince, the founder of American mercenary outfit Blackwater and close friend of U.S. president Donald Trump, reportedly has a home there. This is understandable, because Oman is probably the safest country in the Middle East.
Teaching is a wonderful way to experience the rich culture and ancient heritage of Oman while earning a comfortable, tax-free wage. Property prices, both rental and direct purchase, are a bit pricey here, so it is imperative that accommodation is included in your contract. Otherwise, you could be burning up to a third of your salary on an apartment. The high disposable income of residents also make healthcare a tad expensive, so be sure to take a private medical insurance package if your employer aren’t offering any.
Also there are a variety of teaching positions available throughout the year, the most in demand are English teachers. Omanis appear to have an insatiable appetite at mastering the English language, so even fresh graduates (with ESL certification) are hot commodities.
To apply for a teaching position in Oman, you should ideally have
- Bachelor’s degree
- Teaching certification
- ESL certification (CELTA, CertTESOL, etc.) for English language teachers
- Some experience or background in education or teaching
Note: Working in Oman requires some planning and plenty of discipline. With proper constraints, you could save over half of your earnings. However, if you have to pay for your own accommodation, or indulge in eating out on a daily basis, then you will only have memories to look back on.
Remuneration of a Foreign Teacher in Oman
- Salary: £1,800 - £2,800
- Working Hours: Around 35 hours a week / 8.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m., Sunday to Thursday (including preparatory work and administrative duties)
- School Year: Late August to late June
- Benefits: Housing allowance, annual flight tickets and visa sponsorship
Local Culture and Socio-political Climate
Oman used to have a relatively tolerant policy with regards to public attire. However, in recent years, societal and political pressure have compelled authorities to be somewhat more stringent on enforcing dress code, especially involving foreigners. However, they are not particularly demanding. Long sleeved shirts or blouse and pants or trousers wouldn’t raise an eyebrow. Just don’t wear shorts in public (although no one will bat an eyelid at tourists wearing swimsuits and swimming trunks on the beach).
- Regulatory agencies: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Manpower, and Royal Oman Police
- Cost of Living: 32.99% lower than UK
- Climate: Like neighbouring countries, Oman has a very hot climate. Temperatures can soar to an egg-frying 50 °C during summer. Make sure to carry a bottle of water when you leave the house – at least until your body adjusts to the climate.
- Visa: British citizens may apply for a single-entry tourist visa at the point of entry. Approvals are usually instant. Work visa application, however, could take up to two months.