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Oman vs Bahrain
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itchy_toes



Joined: 21 Oct 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:33 pm    Post subject: Oman vs Bahrain Reply with quote

I am fortunate to have two job offers, one in Bahrain and the other in Oman. The one in Bahrain would be good because my young daughter could attend the school, but I would prefer Oman because it seems more interesting culturally and more stable politically. The pay is about the same but better bennies in Oman. If we are in Oman though I will have to home school my daughter and I'm not sure how much time (not to mention aggravation) that will cause. Thoughts/advice appreciated, thanks!!
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PattyFlipper



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 561

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am something of a lone dissenting voice on these boards in preferring the compact urban environment of Bahrain, with its superior shopping, hospitality outlets, and expatriate lifestyle and facilities, to the rugged landscapes of Oman. This would apply doubly so if I had a child in tow. Your choice may be a little more difficult if the Omani job offer is in Muscat, however I really don't think the scrubby little interior towns in Oman have very much to offer a young Western family. I suppose it would depend how much you and your daughter enjoy the great outdoors, and how enthusiastic you are at the prospect of visiting yet another wadi.

One of the things I dislike about Oman, is the fact that everything is so spread out, making a car an absolute necessity if one wants any quality of life, though with a young child, having your own transportation will be fairly essential in both countries. Most of the Omani Capital Area is just a string of suburbs with an occasional (fairly small) commercial area dotted here and there. Pretty well anything you might wish to do or anywhere you need to go requires at least a 30 to 40 minute drive. Performing two mundane but entirely separate activities such as say grocery shopping and getting a haircut, usually entails driving some distance to different locations.

If your daughter is going to be homeschooled, there will be a sense of isolation and perhaps loneliness, even in Muscat. Additionally, have you given any thought to the logistics of this? Who is going to look after your daughter while you are at work? You will likely need to employ a full-time, live-in maid, as due to distances and lack of public transportation, it may be very difficult to find someone on a part-time basis. In this respect, Bahrain will be much easier.

Bear in mind that outdoor activities are really only possible in the cooler months, but this should also be balanced against the fact that 'Winters' in Bahrain can be decidedly chilly, often requiring topcoats and indoor heating.

The people in both places are generally nice, though I think Bahrainis are better educated and a tad more sophisticated. The history and culture of Bahrain, although somewhat different, can be just as interesting as that of Oman. I generally found it much easier to make friends in Bahrain and there are a lot more easily-accessible leisure activities available. I presume this would also apply to children, though since I do not have any, I am unable to offer the benefit of first-hand experience.

You will definitely need to consider the security situation in Bahrain, and this may actually be the deciding factor for you. Although Westerners have not been directly targeted and are unlikely to be so, lives and routines have been disrupted by the civil unrest and subsequent clampdown by the security forces. Schools have been closed and you may be forced to make a hasty exit if the security situation in the country deteriorates to the point where remaining there becomes untenable.

Personally, I would still choose Bahrain for the greater convenience, better urban facilities and a more interesting mix of people.
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itchy_toes



Joined: 21 Oct 2010
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and for giving such an extensive answer. You've given me a lot to think about. I still need to do some more research and hope I make the best decision. Thanks again!
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rainbowprof



Joined: 18 Feb 2012
Posts: 133
Location: Penang

PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

some places, like in UAE, have homeschooling groups as a number of parents there choose or feel compelled (largely due to costs) to homeschool. KSA schooling benefits can be quite reasonable.
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mesquite



Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take Oman. I worked there before and have just accepted an offer to go back.
Bahrain is still have troubles and is not the best place to be at the moment.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12100
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Bahrain there is an armed insurrection against the state and you are thinking of going to work there ?
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justcolleen



Joined: 07 Jan 2004
Posts: 644
Location: Egypt, baby!

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
In Bahrain there is an armed insurrection against the state and you are thinking of going to work there ?


Some of us are like that.

Very Happy
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12304
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear scot37,

"In Bahrain there is an armed insurrection against the state and you are thinking of going to work there ?"

Well, it certainly banishes boredom (Iran:1979; Riyadh: 1991) Very Happy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlOi6Gl25Lg&feature=player_embedded

Regards,
John
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rainbowprof



Joined: 18 Feb 2012
Posts: 133
Location: Penang

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear scot37,

"In Bahrain there is an armed insurrection against the state and you are thinking of going to work there ?"

Well, it certainly banishes boredom (Iran:1979; Riyadh: 1991) Very Happy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlOi6Gl25Lg&feature=player_embedded

Regards,
John


In the utube video to which you refer, I particularly like the explanation of the statistics describing the success rate of this system- varying dramatically depending upon the agenda of the investigating party Wink Rolling Eyes
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12304
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear rainbowprof,

Well, as an observer (from our apartment rooftop,) all I can say is that I saw a good number of dead-on hits Very Happy.

Regards,
John
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12100
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But John you were with the Good Guys ! The cowboys in WHITE hats !
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12304
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear scot47,

On that occasion, as in Iran, I was wearing no hat - I was only on the sidelines. It was a spectator sport Very Happy

Regards,
John
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diodeone



Joined: 30 Sep 2011
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnslat wrote:
Dear scot37,

"In Bahrain there is an armed insurrection against the state and you are thinking of going to work there ?"

Well, it certainly banishes boredom (Iran:1979; Riyadh: 1991) Very Happy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlOi6Gl25Lg&feature=player_embedded

Regards,
John


Laughing Great video John

And Oman is next to Yemen

Up to five al Qaeda members escaped a Yemeni prison on Tuesday as Omani and Yemeni security forces hunted for several other militants fleeing a military offensive in southern Yemen who crossed into Oman, Yemeni security sources said.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/26/us-oman-qaeda-idUSBRE85P0V620120626
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15867
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That article was a bit OTT I'd say. They said that "the Sultanate was rocked by mass protests last year." Yes there were protests... but "mass" was certainly overstatement. Sohar had the worst of the problems. But a large percentage of the protests were by tertiary students demanding easier tests, lower standards, shorter hours, cheaper tuition... not exactly serious revolutionaries or "mass protests" demanding regime change. Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes

VS
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madrileno



Joined: 19 Aug 2010
Posts: 144
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it will be interesting to see where things are going in Oman. The aging sultan, combined with continued protests from upset Omani youth and increasing tensions in the Straight of Hormuz make for exciting times. Oman is one of those countries where you've no idea what things will be like five years from now, much less ten...
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