I have been writing so much of my previous travels but haven’t shared yet of my humble abode here in Nizwa, Al Dakhliyah, Oman.Nizwa is the place where I live and work. Nizwa is the regional center in the Al Dakhliyah region. It was the oldest capital of Oman in the 6th and 7th centuries. It is about 165 km, 1.5 hours away from Muscat, the present capital of the country. Nizwa has become a more modern city since 1970 but still maintain city traditional architecture such as historical buildings, forts, and souqs (old traditional markets).
Nizwa Fort is one of the main attractions built in the 1668 AD by Iman Sultan Bin Saif Al Ya’rubi in Nizwa. It was once used as a defense wall but now it has been renovated as museum. It is the most visited monument in Oman. The most prominent feature of the tower is the colossal circular tower soaring 115 feet above the rest of the fortification. Walking up the tower stairs shouldn’t be missed. It provides a 360-degree view of the town. Close to the fort is the traditional souq filled with vendors selling everything from fish, meat, fruits and vegetables to gold, silverware, potteries, dates and spices. Nizwa is known for its silver jewelry which is considered to be the best in the country. Scattered around are small coffee shops, garment, grocery, barbershops and restaurants which are very common in Oman. It is common to see more men in the souq than women. Men in the local culture do the shopping and women take care of the children at home and cook meals. If you wish to visit Oman, take a look at the hotel selection on Agoda
Nizwa has a very traditional culture. It is a place where you seldom see women walking alone on public places. A place with less kind of entertainment. There is no kind of any lively social activities present. It is more of a quiet laid-back city, quite different from the capital of the country.
Five years ago, everything seems so indifferent to me. There were only limited stores to buy food and other necessities. I often visit Muscat to roam and buy some Filipino food. As of now, everything had changed. Nizwa has improved over the time. There are more selections to choose from, from foods to household goods. Malls, hypermarkets, and restaurants are everywhere. Banks have better services. Main highways have been upgraded.
I found Nizwa as a nice place to live in. Most of the expat’s accommodation is in the form of apartments or villas. The rental fee is affordable compared to the city of Muscat. Rental agreement is usually 2 years. Utilities like water, gas, internet and electricity are excluded from the rental fee. I live in a flat type accommodation with 2 other Filipina. Our flat is located near the hospital where I am working.Flat usually composed of 3 bedrooms, living room and a kitchen. Housing allowance is provided by the hospital I am working. Living here is totally decent and peaceful. There is a growing number of Filipinos working in the hospital. When I started my job years back, there were like 20 Filipinos who worked in the hospital. As of now we are more than 100 and still growing. You never feel like alone knowing there are more Filipinos and other nationalities working and living in Nizwa.
On a typical day, I spend most of my time at home after my work. I woke up with the sound of the Morning Prayer from the big mosque. Most of our neighbors are locals and expats working in the same hospital. Kids are out playing on a regular afternoon time. Diversional activities are available depending on what you like to do. Some expats are having fun walking in the afternoon when the weather is good. Some engaged in sports activities like basketball, boxing or badminton around the neighborhood. Others prefer to stay at home to watch television or movies, read books, surf the net, bake or cook specially on summer season.
I love to run on my free time. It helps me stay active. There are days I like to write on my blogs; there are days I love to cook. And some days I love to go around and explore more of Oman. I never get tired of doing something as long as I know it makes me relaxed and happy. Others may find Nizwa a boring place to live in. It might be a dull place for someone who loves the life in the city.
Everyone has its own preferences of an ideal place to live in and work. Living in Nizwa can be very simple and challenging. But it is on those quiet moments that I have realized what I like to do most in my life. I love my work. I have realized there is no excuses for boredom. You can always be whoever you want to be and be the best no matter what the setup of the place is.
Are you an expat living in another country? Or do you wish to work abroad? Share your stories with us on the comments below.