How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Very well-equipped, with indoor and outdoor playgrounds, nurseries, special shops, etc. Places for changing diapers are very limited, though. There is a diaper-changing station at The City Center Mall, but not at many other places.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
This is usually by word of mouth.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
As applies to all expats in Middle Eastern countries, it is advisable to remain cautious. For specific and current safety issues, you may wish to contact your embassy in Oman.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Popular venues for kids include the Children's Museum and the Rose Park amusement park. There are also ice-skating rinks, bowling alleys and game halls, as well as movie theaters and shopping malls.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
School-organized activities, such as basketball, volleyball, tennis or football are all very popular, as are music lessons and movies. Family activities include shopping, outings, boat rides, snorkeling, diving, swimming and bowling.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Outdoor activities are necessarily restricted in summer (due to the excessive heat) and parents need to find indoor activities for their children. Most organized activities are deemed quite expensive. If the children want to go somewhere by themselves, parents need to organize transportation.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Protestant Church in Oman Youth Group.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
Schools usually organize special cultural activities and some offer Arabic language courses. The British School Muscat runs kids' activities and is the venue for meets for the 1st Clubs, Beavers and 4th Muscat Brownies.
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