Some time ago, I met a man who has been living here in the Sultanate, since the 70's - he was here during the Dhofar insurgency and I guess just never left. I found it quite interesting talking to this person and his observations on how things had changed over the years and it got me to wondering..... how long do most expatriates stay here before moving on?
I imagine there are a few different categories of us Expats (sorry if you are an Omani reading this):
1/ The Contract worker. These are people who are rotated into positions here in the country and then move on after contract has been completed. I guess PDO (Shell) employees & military types are the best example of this, although there are many others of course.
2/ The ones that can't cut it. You know the ones I mean, they just can't adapt and end up quitting and leaving as soon as they can. Usually big fans of watching Sky News etc. they can't let go of "home" and usually whinge and moan just that little bit more than the rest of us.
3/ The expat brats. The kids of parents who have grown up here and subsequently found jobs. I don't mean that they're actually brats, it's just a phrase. I've met quite a few and they're all nice people.
4/ The camels. Expats that have been here for years and years and have no intentions on leaving any time soon.
Obviously, if you are Omani, then you're in your own category, but I've found it's quite common for foreign educated Omani's to come home for a while, and then want to leave again, for whatever reasons they have.
Oman, for me, is my second country to live in as an expatriate. I have found life here a mixture of highs and lows, but the highs so far outweigh the lows! I've found that some friendships form and become very strong - I can put my hand on my heart and say that there are some people I've befriended here who I will know for the rest of my life. But as is always the case with this life that I have chosen, friends come and go.
After my first couple of years here, I realised that life here is very transient, we could have to leave at any time, for a number of reasons. Whether you've lived here for 30 years, 1 year or 1 month - you really have no options to stay if you're told you have to go. So I got used to the constant threat of having to move on, you just do right? But as I mentioned above - every now and then you meet some people who you get along with very well. And then one day, the inevitable call/text/email comes: Want to buy my car mate? We're moving to xxx.
It got me to thinking... How long is the average expats stay here in Oman? Is it mostly 2 years? Or 4? When I first moved here, I'd meet a lot of people, all the time, because I was out a lot more than I am now, and most people would be under 5 years, every now and then you'd find someone who was here more than 5 years, and once in a while you'd come across a 10+ year veteran.
So, because I continue to pay those people at Survey Monkey money every month, I have setup a little questionnaire to see just how long you have lived here in Oman. If you're reading this and you don't live in Oman anymore, just put the length of time that you did live here for, or if you're reading this and you're planning to move... select that option. And of course, if you're Omani I've made a special option just for you nice people too :)
Create your own user feedback survey
I'll share the results soon!