Work and Travel in Oman
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN OMAN FOR TRAVELLERS
Oman is on the tip of Arabia and next to the unstable war-ravaged country of Yemen. Few people make it to Oman, due to the absence of cheap flights.
But it's truly one of the hidden gems of the travel world. People who travel in Oman will find a land untouched by modern tourism and mass immigration. It's an authentic part of the Arab world that has a lot to offer.
Our travel guide to Oman is going to introduce you to the opportunities available in one of the least visited countries in the region (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/oman).
1. Work with Turtles and Whales in Oman
Oman has a high level of biodiversity at sea. Unfortunately, few people know about the loggerhead turtles and the humpback whales that make their way around the coast.
It's a prime area for scientists looking to study these creatures. Conservationists are also playing their part in ensuring that these animals are protected from the overdevelopment of the coastline.
Regardless of your skills, volunteers are always needed to work in Oman in this field.
You will have the chance to get up close and personal with these creatures. There's no better way to spend your time volunteering in Oman.
2. Help the Poor in Oman
Islamic countries consider charity to be an extremely important part of being a good Muslim. That's why it's easy to pick up work in Oman in this field.
You'll be spending your time taking in donations and handing them out to the poor.
This is an excellent way of connecting with the local community and feeling like you've made a real difference during your time here.
3. Empower Drug Addicts to Find Help in Oman
Many travellers find that as they work and travel in Oman they run into a huge number of drug addicts. Drugs are taboo, but there's still a flourishing black market.
Drug addicts are considered shameful in this society, so few people are willing to help them.
A handful of organisations are dedicated to normalising the idea of seeking help. They want to eliminate the notion that it's shameful.
They often need help marketing their message online. Anyone with tech skills will be welcomed. You don't need to be a whizz, just have a basic idea of creating websites and using social media.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR OMAN
Oman used to have an extremely awkward visa system. There are only a few countries whose citizens are entitled to enter without a visa, and all of them are in the Arabian Peninsula.
That's why Oman introduced an e-visa system to encourage tourists to come to the country (https://evisa.rop.gov.om/).
Citizens of the US, Canada, the UK, the European Union (EU), Japan, South Africa, South Korea, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand are eligible to use the e-visa system to work and travel in Oman.
This entitles them to a 30-day stay, so for short volunteering opportunities in Oman, this is ideal (https://evisa.rop.gov.om/).
On the other hand, at the start of 2018, it became possible to apply for this visa in the arrivals area of the major airports of Oman, before passport control (https://www.muscatairport.co.om/en/content/immigration-visa).
However, for simplicity's sake, we recommend you use the e-visa system. It only takes a couple of days to receive a decision.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN OMAN
Spring in Oman is the beginning of the dry season. Temperatures begin to soar and many travellers will need to adjust to the high temperatures.
We recommend that you opt for projects in the capital of Muscat.
You'll be able to work with disadvantaged communities in the capital. There are plenty of options for this with secular organisations.
Take note that if you work with an official governmental organisation, you'll need to complete a lot of paperwork.
You can also go into the countryside as part of a homestay project. These projects are about cultural engagement. You'll be sharing your culture with local people and they'll be sharing their culture with you.
Many of them take place on farms and involve lots of challenging manual labour during the day.
The summer season is considered a blessing for most locals. This is when the rains hit, offering a pleasant respite from temperatures that can almost hit 50 degrees Celsius.
It's the prime season for turtles, as thousands come to the coast to lay their eggs. You'll also get to see the humpback whales during this period.
Whether you're supporting scientists in their research or protecting turtle nests from poachers, you'll know that you're making a big difference.
The autumn season is another ideal time to visit the country. There's not much change in the climate from summer to autumn, other than a slight reduction in the temperature.
Up until October, you'll still have the chance to work with turtles and whales.
Other than that, refer back to the previous sections for more information on some of the things you can do in autumn.
Work and travel in Oman isn't easy because the concept of foreign volunteers coming to the country is a new one. But Arabs in this part of the world are genuine, friendly, and warm.
Unlike in certain North African countries, you're never going to be seen as a walking ATM. Local people want to meet foreigners.
It's a pleasure to work in Oman and it will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life.
Do you want to travel in Oman on your next adventure?
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN OMAN
As this section is covering the whole of Oman, one has to generalise, but, in general, what is the attitude? Are we all rich idiot tourists and if so why on earth would we want to do some work? Or are we seen as western supremacists and viewed with suspicion? Let us know your thoughts and update them here.
- Edited on Mar 11 2019 by Mercury