IT TOOK two years of effort before businessman Elias Tang finally landed his first deal in Oman.
"The initial stage was very tough as we were not known here," said Mr Tang, 42, who has lived in Oman with his wife and daughter for eight years.
"Oman has a lot to offer but it is like a barren but fertile farm land; you need to work the field before you can reap your rewards," he added.
Mr Tang is the managing director of ASM Technologies, which won a contract to help the Omani government kick-start its digital media industry.
The project involves setting up a regional interactive digital centre in the Knowledge Oasis Muscat, the sultanate's flagship technology park.
Due to be completed this year, it will include a training academy and research and development facilities.
The centre will also develop educational virtual reality software for schools and be involved in digital media tie-ups with Omani government agencies.
Mr Tang said the sultanate's laidback lifestyle was a drastic change from fast-paced Singapore.
The couple have a 12-year-old daughter who attends an international school in Muscat - the country's capital and where the family live.
"Initially it was a little tough getting used to the pace of work here, but after a while you appreciate that it gives you more quality time with the family," he said.
Mr Tang, who is also the president of the Singapore Club in Oman, said there are about 50 Singaporeans residing in the country.
"We have a very small Singaporean community here... most of us are very closely knit," he said, adding that gatherings are organised regularly.
The project is expected to take about five years to complete so Mr Tang and his family are likely to remain in Oman "for a while".
"Eventually we will have to (return to Singapore), but no timeframe has been set yet... We also have to consider the implications on our child's education and other practical issues," he said.