I've just been made a job offer to work for an oil company in Brunei. I've worked in Dubai for the past 2 years, and so far I am really enjoying the opportunities the emirate offers. However, part of me is also ready for a new challenge and eager to explore other parts of the world.
I know Brunei is a Islamic nation and was wondering how similar the expat lifestyle would be to the one I have here in Dubai. Despite being an Islamic country, Dubai is very tolerant and accepting foreigners - I feel as long as you are respectful to their traditions, they let foreigners do as they wish. I don't really want to live somewhere like Saudi, where my freedoms would be restricted and I wouldn't be allowed to go out and have a drink after work, for instance.
If anyone out there has any experience on expat life in Brunei please let me know your thought. I would like to get more information from expats before making a decision.
Congratulations on your exciting new job offer in Brunei.
I think you'll find that there are both pros and cons to expat life in Brunei. On one hand, Brunei is said to have one of the world's highest standards of living. You'll be able to access top quality healthcare and education facillities. On the other hand, you will have to make some adjustments to living in a strict Islamic country.
I think the lifestyle in Brunei would fall somewhere between that in Dubai and Saudi Arabia. The expat population is Brunei is not as large as in Dubai and generally laws are more strigently enforced. However, I don't think you'll be as restricted as you would be in Saudi Arabia. For instance, you won't be limited to living in a compound.
Have a look at the Expat Arrival's Moving to Brunei page for an overview of expat life in the country.