Everyone loves going places – Don’t we? it is indeed always exciting when you’re packing your bags to leave to a new country – be it a holiday, a temporary stay or a permanent move – whatever it is, it is quite an experience. Certainly, I was excited. It’s not like I’ve been living off my bags but then I would, I really would – no matter how tiring it is! That’s probably one of the main reasons I chose Sales & Marketing to be my career with the hope I travel extensively, as much as I want to.

“But hold on! Before I go any further – I must thank my friend for giving me the heads-up to write on how I feel being a newbie in Oman”. So, well this is how it all started – Sometime late last year I felt I needed a career shift, a role change and a role filled with more challenges. It was just about myself and not my employer! As i started my job hunt, my priority was to move outside India for the experience and Middle East being close to home was undoubtedly my first option. To be honest, the only place in my mind was Dubai (you know the exuberant luxurious life you live there, provided you make that kind of money!) Everyone wants to be there, all of us!

While I approached one of my old friends/colleagues/business contact little did I know Oman was in store. And mid December just when I thought my job hunt was reaching nowhere I get this call “Hey Vaish, we are expanding in Oman and I was thinking of you as a suitable candidate. Would you be interested? If yes, let’s meet up and discuss”. I was obviously excited thinking of going to a new place and to be part of a business that’s just setting up. It’s those typical dream of guys building their own start up – I was in this phase but I atleast got a chance to be part of a start-up though not my own. But my only hindrance then was – “Oh, no! Wait.. I wanted to move to Dubai but now Oman.. Umm.. Should I? Should I not? ”

After a point though not fully convinced (because I wanted to move to Dubai) I started looking up about Oman on the internet. Trust me I had no god damn idea about Oman but thanks to friends, relatives etc etc who are spread all over started giving me a picture about Oman. Some said it’s a great place to be at, some said it’s okay, a couple of them said – NO! Man’s brain is such that even if a 100 people say good, what stays in our head is 2 people saying something negative about the place. But overall I got some very good responses and everything about Oman on the internet was nice – articles about people, the place, things to do and in general the place as such.

My thoughts about Oman, based on what I heard and read – I had the belief that it’s a place to look forward to, though not as outgoing as Dubai yet a country with friendly people and a well balanced life. So, finally having lived here for just above 6 months this is what I’ve to say about Ohhh maannnn (Oman) –

Friendly Souls
Just after I landed the first thing I noticed about Oman is this! The airport staff welcomes every passenger with a smile, literally. I had some mess up with my passport but these guys dealt with it so well and they treat everyone with so much respect. That was the start and I knew, Man! this place is good! I was a little bogged down with such a small airport but hey – the new Muscat International Airport is coming up next year! 😀

The roads!
This is one point all of us love about the Gulf Countries. A 4-6 lane road and with good speed limits, boy the roads gave me that initial excitement. With cheap fuel prices you’re free to drive as much as you want and wherever you want at any given time.
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Society
Let me admit that I was wondering how active social life is going to be in Oman. Though I had my hopes of building my own circle here I still had my own doubts. But over 6 months the circle is building and society is definitely friendly – Omanis, Indians, Srilankans, Expats All nationals are friendly! Simply put, mankind is pretty sweet here and restores faith in humanity. More on this coming up, soon!

Culture
A very sweet, friendly, human culture. A society that believes in rich historical traditional values and the best of all is the similarity of family bonding. Family values of Omanis are extremely high which is quite similar to the Indian tradition (I understand there might be different cultures similar to this). I don’t mean offense to other culture’s just because I haven’t mentioned it here.

Racism Free
No offense to anyone but many think going to one of the Gulf Countries is going to land up in problems and you’ll have to face racism. But as far as my experience goes, there is no racism and one of the friendliest places I’ve been too. I might come across a lot more but as on date Oman tops the list and is definitely one of the most friendliest.

Landscapes and natural beauty
Ups, downs and curves meeting the ocean. One might wonder Oman is all about just endless deserts considering it’s the Middle East. But this place surprises with you some lovely landscapes and natural beauty. It’s really something for one to experience that leaves you jaw dropped!
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Work-life Balance – Easy Steady and at Peace
This is what I love about this place. Everyone is calm, at ease and at a steady pace. The best way I could put it is – well balanced! If you’re talking work-life balance this place has given it to me.

Nightlife
I got to be honest here – This is no Dubai, Sin City – Vegas or Amsterdam but you definitely have a few places to unwind yourself. Over time as you build your own circle of friends all the parties and fun you want will happen!

Patriotism – At it’s peak!
I must admit I love my country, I love India and home is where I would want to go back. Having said that I must say I’m quite astonished and been having the “WOW” moments looking at Oman celebrate National Day. It’s not a day’s celebration, it’s more a like a week celebration, or even more. It’s like they won a soccer world cup or won against a rival. Color lights, decoration everywhere, rallies everywhere and the best of all – cars with stickers of the national flag and Sultan’s photo. This country has shown me the love people can have for a country and their marvelous leader – His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said. Total Respect!!!

Don’t be surprised if with time I write more about Oman. If ever you get the chance to visit Oman, please do and we’ll be glad to welcome you!

 

By: Vaishnav Ramesh
Writer is freelance writer, based in Muscat Oman can be reached on
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