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oman info needed

(26 Posts)
EllaBel Wed 17-Aug-11 17:06:39

I am moving to Oman from Bahrain and would love any advice on the nitty gritty of getting children sorted for swimming/football/tennis or other under 5's activities. In Bahrain their are really only a couple of places which offers much to this age group and most of it is done under one roof so to speak and as a result you have to book quite early to get a place. Is it the same in Muscat? I am moving there in September.
Also I don't have a school place for my eldest who is due to start in reception in September - am hoping this is not a big deal and that the chances are something will be available and that if it does become apparent that the BSM is the one to aim for that places are likely to become available through the term - is this the case?
Also... we are going to be looking for somewhere to live. I understand that MSQ is popular what about muscat hills? the wave? or the other 'suburbs'. plus is it hotel membership like club membership in bahrain?

basically... tell me what you know. I'd appreciate your help and tips... thanks x

lazydog Wed 17-Aug-11 23:31:22

Look for Barmcake's reply to my request for a penpal for my DS, somewhere down below on this forum, and maybe PM her, as she's there! smile

kittensliveupstairs Thu 18-Aug-11 06:41:15

We lived there for three years from 2000. DD was born there. No such thing as Muscat Hills or the Wave then. It was MQ or Shatti for ex-pats.
Have a look at other schools, BSM is OK, but ABA and TASIM are equally good, if not better.
We did have membership of the Intercon. I can't remember how much it cost, but we used the pool and dH used the gym and sauna.
Can't answer any questions about extra curricular activites, DD was only a baby when we were there.
Lovely country and lovely people, we are hoping to take DD back next year to see where she was born.
Do try to join the AWC, you'll get discounts on stuff too.

Barmcake Fri 19-Aug-11 07:30:31

Hi EllaBel, as Lazydog said we have been in Muscat since January we were in Dubai before.

my ds is 10 and goes to BSM, we looked at ABA too but no places available but ds loves BSM and settled really quickly. He does swimming and tennis at the Intercon, if you need contact numbers I will pm them to you. DH works there so no idea about membership but the activities are cheaper if you are a member there. Also I am a member of the Women's Guild Oman, you pay a yearly fee (I think it is 10 OMR this year) membership is from September to August and your card gets you discount at various stores and restaurants, don't know about AWC though, will have to have a look wink

I hope this helps a little, if you need anything else just ask away and I will try to help, still finding my way around, but Muscat is so small and sleepy conpared to Dubai!!

kittensliveupstairs Fri 19-Aug-11 08:31:43

blush AWC was in Thailand I think.
Very envious of those with sunshine and lovely wadi's to cool down in.

EllaBel Sun 21-Aug-11 14:06:37

thanks for your messages. and thanks Barmcake for your tuppence worth. Not having any luck with places for the reception age son although there are some nursery places still available for number 2 son... difficult to know what to do especially as we don't know where we are going to end up living. do you have any feelings on the various options on where to live, is it just so much more convenient and practical to live in msq and around? have been looking at places a bit further out for size (4 children) and outside space.. bahrain was all compound living.. x

Barmcake Sun 21-Aug-11 20:00:13

can't really advise about where to life to be honest, we have a very tiny apartment that came with dh's job and next to where he works. I only really know the MQ area as that is where BSM is and from what I have seen of friends villa's there they are quite a bit smaller than villa's in Dubai but these are the only ones I've seen, haven't been to the wave so can't compare those. Hopefully someone else will be able to give you more advice.

We stayed in Dubai for 1 school term while dh moved to Muscat cos we were worried about a school place for ds, turns out he could have started at half term or sooner as places were available, typical, so hopefully there could be space in a reception class for your ds, fingers crossed.

Sorry that I haven't been of much help to you blush

complexnumber Thu 25-Aug-11 15:07:26

We have been in Muscat for 2 years now with two primary age daughters and are very happy.

With regards the schools, previous posters have correctly mentioned the 3 big ones; BSM, ABA and TASIM

Each has its own strengths, depending upon what 'sort' of ex-pat you are.

BSM is best for those families who are just popping out of the UK for a couple of years, and who expect their children to return to England/Wales and move back into the National Curriculum.

ABA follows the International Bacc. curriculum, and is good for those families who may be moving from one country to another every few years. I am connected to this school through the PTA and am very happy with the teachers of my girls and the general ethos of the school.

TASIM offers an American curriculum and is probably best suited to those families who are looking ahead and thinking that their kids may go to a US university.

I would be v. happy to answer any more specific q's wrt ABA, I think they still have places, but I'm not sure in which year groups

Moomaloo Sat 27-Aug-11 21:27:48

I am moving to Muscat tomorrow! So no actual knowledge to add - just wanted to say hi! Hoping the expats are friendly!

EllaBel Mon 29-Aug-11 11:04:04

Thank you Barmcake and complexnumber... great help all round and very exciting Moomaloo - where are you going to live?

I am looking at BSM and Oasis Kindergarten on the basis of not needing it for more than a few years. Oasis goes up to the age of 7 I think, am I right? I've been told that BSM has a 14 child waiting list for reception which sounds like a lot to me.

Moomaloo Wed 31-Aug-11 11:54:29

We are here! Still finding our feet but living it so far. Hoping to sort nursery for our nearly 4 year old. We are living at the Oasis apartment complex which has swimming pools and gardens etc. It is near Boucher. Good luck with the move. If you fancy a coffee when you get here just let me know.

complexnumber Wed 31-Aug-11 21:02:12

Welcome Moomaloo. It's such a relief to get your internet sorted once you have arrived isn't it, it puts you back in touch with the world.

Have you got your telly sorted out yet? We subscribe to OSN Movie Premium or something, loads of channels including sport (if anyone is interested in the forthcoming Rugby World Cup) movies and normal CSI type stuff.

Have you got your booze licence sorted? Now that Eid has kicked in, you'll be wanting to do that pretty soon, watching the sunset with a cold one is heaven.

Moomaloo Thu 01-Sep-11 08:17:29

I was ridiculously happy when my phone and Internet started working! We have been idly thinking about tv so thanks for the tips!
My husbands residency is still being processed so no booze licence yet. Looking forward to that! And thank you for the welcome!

EllaBel Sun 04-Sep-11 21:17:57

Moomaloo, just packing boxes in welsh Wales, heading to Muscat on the 8th, also staying at the Oasis apartments. See you there. I'll be the harrassed mother of four small feral children. Spot me...

Moomaloo Mon 05-Sep-11 08:37:25

That is great news! Have hardly met a soul here so far so will definitely look out for you. Only got 2 myself so in awe of moving with 4 of them!! Good luck with the boxes and I will see you soon!

hermitcrab Mon 05-Sep-11 09:11:39


Hope you are both settling in well. I've got two girls at BSM, both v happy and doing well. Have had loads of extra support for one...driven by the school, so v happy in that regard. Have friends with children at ABA and seem v happy.

We looked at both ABA and BSM, but at the time ABA had a huge waiting list (40 plus) and refused to take our daughters name.

Regarding clubs and facilities, worth checking out the PDO club. Used to be just for employees, but seem a lot more accommodating lately. Have a great pool (chilled during summer and absolutely lovely), restaurants with v reasonable prices, bar, private beach with bbq bit, tennis, gym etc, and a great arts and crafts programme. Is over at maybe a bit far out if you end up looking at somewhere like the Wave to live.

We're in Azaiba in a lovely compound right on the beach. Has a pool. Are a few compounds and villas along the beach road (Street 37). Ours is managed by Hamptons...current rents 1200 OR for a decent sized, western layout villa. School run from here takes around 20 minutes, 12 with a clear run!

sorry...epic posting, but hth. x

EllaBel Mon 05-Sep-11 21:58:24

Not looking forward to the flight! Also anyone got any thoughts on the Royal Flight School? My sons have places there but just wondered what the consensus was locally. Thanks Hermitcrab for your info re PDO will definitely check it out. x

ripstheirthroatoutliveupstairs Tue 06-Sep-11 17:09:18

Not sure if my views are still current, but when we were there Royal Flight had an excellent reputation. We had a friend who used to teach there and he spoke highly of it, even in private!

EllaBel Tue 06-Sep-11 17:15:55

Good to hear rips' thanks.

Moomaloo Sat 10-Sep-11 07:31:54

Are you here now ellabel? Hope you are settling in. Will keep a look out for you and give me a shout if you want to pop round for a cup of tea!

EllaBel Tue 13-Sep-11 17:31:52

Moomaloo, all here, finally online and forgot how hot it can be in the ME! Tea would be lovely, looking at houses tomorrow am, then it's the weekend, how about early next week? I'm in apt 44, 3D where are you?

complexnumber Tue 13-Sep-11 17:49:51

I hope you both meet for a coffee or whatever. There certainly are some fantastic spots.

One of our favourites is in the Crepe cafe on the beach at the Shatti Mall.

As for swimming lessons I think Oasis does lessons in the pool there. DD's friend lives there and had lessons.

Moomaloo Wed 14-Sep-11 06:11:14

Happy hunting! We are in 41 2B. I am around any time on Saturday and also on Sunday afternoon. Kids in nursery in morning. Let me know what suits.

EllaBel Thu 15-Sep-11 19:06:41

Thanks Complexnumber. Looking for my 1 and 1/2 year old. Yet to discover Shatti Mall (qurm?)
Moomaloo - sat afternoon me thinks. Come here? Could be a bit crazy but will evacuate to garden if necessary! 3.30 ish? Tea and cakes...mmmm

Moomaloo Fri 16-Sep-11 04:46:59

Sounds great! But also feel a bit like I am going on a blind date! Don't you just love the Internet!

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