Base leader in: Musandam, Oman

This is a Life&Dive ProDiver interview. These interviews are given to dive instructors from all around the world to provide you with an idea of their lives, job situations and opinions about the diving industry.
The interviews do not intend to insult employers or damage the reputation of their dive centres. They merely try to provide an honest picture about the working conditions in diving destinations all around the world in order to provide young and aspiring professionals with a helpful overview.

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Name:
Sandra
Age:
43
Nationality:
Dutch
Languages:
Dutch, English, German, Japanese, Arabic (basic)
Number of Dives:
3000+
Where:
Oman, Musandam
Contract:
All year
Position:
BL
Salary Range  US$:
1500-2000
Board / Accommodation?:
Accommodation and food allowance
Duty and free time:
6 days per week/10 hours per day (4 weeks paid vacation)

Type of operation:
Dive Center
Size of operation:
Medium
Location of operation:
Located in the hotel but not related to the hotel
Job characteristics and/or special duties:
none
Duties: Running the dive center & B&B, organizing transfers to international airports, teaching courses, guiding divers, taking care of the bookings, accounting, licenses, staff, PR, dive shows, etc etc.
Mode of Operation:
boat dives, drift diving
average # dives per day:
less than I would like

Medical care situation:
Hospital, Private Clinic available
Visa Runs:
Work permit for 2 years
Government administrative duties:
Work permit + medical check (every 2 years)
Lifestyle:
Staff room in guest house, with own bathroom but a kitchen to be shared.

palmen
oman beleuchtet

Your opinion:

I love my job since no day is the same. I’m in charge of several businesses (dive center, guest house and transfers) in a constantly changing environment (guests, weather, staff, material (boats etc), rules). It challenges my flexibility, creativity and my patients every single day.

Oman is a great country to live because of the high standard of living and the hospitality of the people. It is a clean country and there are rules for everything. The down side of the bureaucracy is that it slows down many processes and that every accomplishment takes time.

Not many people know Oman is a great place for diving but thanks to the remote dive sites it is not easy to get there and the reefs are in top condition. Musandam is a great dive region for adventurous divers who enjoy mild or strong currents. Comparing to Egypt or the Maldives the visibility is not as clear but the high amounts of plankton provides a very healthy marine life.

The water temperature and the sea conditions are never the same in this part of Oman which can make the diving a challenge but is anything but boring. Depending on the conditions the boat ride for 6 hours can be a treat or torture. The water temp is between 21 and 31 degrees. The air temp is between 18 and 45 degrees. Musandam offers a huge dive area with lots of surprises and new spots to be discovered.

 

Living in Musandam is easy if you are not addictive to pork, alcohol, drugs or parties.

Oman is a safe country to work and live also as a non-Muslim (woman). Living in place with less distraction you focus on different things and life becomes simpler.

Being a manager I’m happy I can use the experience of previous jobs in sales, customer service and administration.

Being able to speak several languages is an advantage. Although many people speak English some people feel more comfortable if they can communicate in their own language.

When I came to Oman I did not speak Arabic but I learned a way to communicate by being creative and culturally sensitive. Being respectful and interested in the way people live in Oman helped me to built a respectfull relationship.

Some people say working in the dive industry is living the dream. Maybe it is but it also a job. Comparing to other jobs working in the dive industry is tough. Not only because of the physical challenges but also because of the huge responsibility and the lack of a private life. In proportion to the working hours the salary is very low and medical care and retirement are not taken care of.

I choose to work in the dive industry since the work provides me the opportunity to live abroad, to experience nature on a daily base and to meet many different interesting people. An most of all because is it full of surprises!!!

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