Working in Oman

Working in Oman?

Is working in Oman as an expatriate a valid career move for you? Get prepared with the InterNations guide to working in Oman! Our overview of the national economy, job hunting and opening your own business, as well as general working conditions, keeps you up to date.

Choosing Your Field of Employment
If you are interested in working in Oman as an expat, there are some niche occupations to realize your plan outside a traditional intra-company transfer. In addition to such flourishing fields as the petrochemical industry and tourism, other growth sectors to consider include: construction and logistics, infrastructure projects for water conservation and irrigation technologies, energy creation, waste disposal and recycling, medical equipment, bio technology, and healthcare services, as well as electrical machinery.

Furthermore, you should pay particular attention to companies based in free zones, like those in Sohar and Salalah, or in the Knowledge Oasis Muscat, where the local HQs of IT companies like Microsoft and Oracle are located. The “Omanization” quota is lower for the staff of foreign-owned businesses in free zones. This means less job insecurity for you when you have started working in Oman.

Resources for Job Hunting in Oman
To research a particular sector, professional field, or company, you could try the English-language dailies Oman Economic Review and Business Today Oman. Once you have decided to go forward with the application process, the following job search engines come in handy:

Monster Gulf
Al Jazeera Jobs
Careerjet Oman

If you are searching for a job in a particular industry, there are also specialized websites like Go 4 Construction Jobs, Oil Careers, Caterer Global, and Jobs TEFL. Moreover, it’s worth checking the homepages of large Oman-based companies — like Shell or Oman Air — directly for vacancies advertised in their career section.

Starting Your Own Company: Preliminary Steps 
Should you prefer being your own boss to looking for employment in Oman, you should do some thorough market research first. The potential growth sectors listed in the job-hunting section above may also be worthwhile for foreign investors.

To acquire more knowledge and receive support for a planned market entry, get in touch with relevant institutions. Contact, for instance, the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or the appropriate foreign chamber of commerce in the Gulf region.

Furthermore, it is not recommended to start your own business or make investments in Oman without previous professional experience in the Middle East. An on-the-ground presence is a must. Even if you should find a way of opening a business that does not require any Omani partners, reliable local associates and fluent Arabic speakers are just as vital.

Conditions for Setting up a Business in Oman
Non-Omani nationals who are not from either another GCC state or the US and who would like to set up a company in Oman need to meet these requirements:

You must apply for a license at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
You have to invest a minimum capital of 150,000 OMR.
Foreign investors and business people are allowed to own a certain percentage of company shares, usually 49%. The rest must be in Omani hands.
There are ways of working around some of these regulations. For businesses in free zones, a higher share of foreign ownership is possible, and you may require a lower amount of minimum capital. Certain legal business structures — a purely promotional representative office or the branch office of a foreign company — can also be established without Omani participation.

However, you should have a local agent or lawyer to help you with administrative issues and government correspondence.