Muscat - Post Report Question and Answers

How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Not much at all, but it was always appreciated if you spoke a phrase or two, or made any effort. As with anywhere else... - Jan 2022

None. - Dec 2018

None. Pretty much everyone speaks English. Oman is only made up of about 50% Omanis and the rest are all expats (the majority being from India and Bangladesh working here as laborers). - Feb 2018

You don't need it at all for daily life. Literally everybody speaks English everywhere. Muscat has a very large expat community (some claim that it is even more than the locals), so English is spoken everywhere in the capital. It is considered polite to be able to say things like Hello!; Goodbye! Thank you! and How are you? in Arabic, but it is absolutely fine if you don't know any. Leaving the capital is a different story. The farther you go out of town the more you need Arabic. In the little villages where you might be doing exploring or stopping by you would definitely need Arabic to ask for directions or something else. - Aug 2017

None. All major signs are in both English and Arabic and most store employees speak both as well. If you travel to some of the smaller towns, knowing basic Arabic might be helpful. - Oct 2014

None, though courtesy phrases are always appreciated. - Jun 2012

None. - May 2012

None, the locals prefer to use will need surival skills in the smaller villages when traveling though. - Aug 2011

Out of respect you should learn the greetings at the very least - Feb 2011

You don't need to know much...thank you, please...and that is really just for respect for the country you are living in. Everyone speaks english. Oman has two official languages: arabic and english. - Apr 2010

You can get by without any Arabic within the city and most places but it is nice to know a few phrases and when used the Omanis appreciate it just like anyone would, knowing your making an effort. Most Omanis will switch to English if your struggling and knowing the Sinhalese would help as well, maybe more so that Arabic. - Feb 2010

None in Muscat. Even if you speak fluent Arabic, Omanis will speak English (very good English) to you. In fact, there were times I wished I spoke Hindi or Malayalam. Outside Muscat, many people speak only Arabic or little English. But you can get by with a tiny bit of Arabic and lots of hand gestures (but don't accidentally flip someone the bird!). - Jan 2010

The niceties are always appreciated. Those with Arabic skills open many doors. Most of the work force is foreign so other languages such as Tamil, Urdu, Sinhalese, Tagalog will also benefit you. - Mar 2009

Some Arabic for greetings is much appreciated but English is a nearly universal language in Muscat. - Feb 2008

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