Expat's Guide for Moving to Oman

sultan qaboos grand mosque

Considering a move to Oman’s capital? Muscat is a rapidly growing city with a large expat community and plenty of housing options. Very often it is cheaper than many European cities too.

From apartments and villas to expat-friendly neighbourhoods and cost of living, we’ve prepared this guide to explore your options when moving to Oman with your Tax Job.

Cost of Living

money pile

In comparison to the UK, Oman is cheaper for the most part. Some groceries can be up to 75% cheaper, with larger supermarkets with fresh produce making a better shopping destination than smaller convenience stores. Car fuel is around 65% cheaper.

Barista-made coffee and alcohol beverages are more expensive than the UK average. However, restaurants are generally up to 60% cheaper, with a widely varying price range and cuisines.

Entertainment is very affordable as well; tickets for a show at the Royal Opera House Muscat start from just £5.94, the same price of a cinema ticket!

Finding a Property

Before arriving to Oman, consider browsing websites that have property listings updated regularly. 

- OLX is the equivalent of Gumtree; many landlords post their properties there.
- There are also some real estate agents with online presence such as Al Habib and Savills.
After arriving in Oman, take a drive around the areas suggested below and look out for banners on any properties that are available. However, be mindful when dealing with private landlords and ensure you sign a lease before making payments. You may also want to visit some of the local real estate agents in person to explore their offerings.

Where to Live in Muscat

Having an idea of the areas that best cater for expats is important, as this will ensure a smooth transition when moving to a new country. These areas vary in terms of rent, however most job offers for expats include a rent allowance.

Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos

‘Madinat Qaboos’ for short is a much sought after area that is in the heart of central Muscat. The properties vary; including modern apartments, villas with gardens and swimming pools, older-style gated communities and more. It is surrounded by a variety of services, including many cafes and restaurants, an off-license, a vet and a gym. The British School Muscat (BSM) as listed in our school guide for Oman, is also in the neighbourhood. The popularity and convenience of this area is reflected in the property prices owing to fact that many expats and Omanis live there.

Al Qurum

This area covers a large part of Muscat with many housing options available. It has a mix of apartments as well as villas and larger houses. Al Qurum is a popular shopping area with Sabco Centre and Al Qurum Complex all nearby. The beach is also a walking distance from some parts of Al Qurum, where snorkelling and jet-skiing are on offer. For nature lovers, Al Qurum Natural Park is a large green area with flower gardens, a pond and a theme park – making it a lovely place to go for a walk during the cooler months.

Shatti Al Qurum

Translating to “The Beach of Al Qurum”, this is an upscale beachside area with some parts resembling Greek-style coast towns due to the white and blue villas. The beach is a stone-throw away and the area is home to one of Muscat’s hotspots for restaurants, bars and cafes. The Royal Opera House Muscat and the Opera Galleria are nearby, where cafes such as Richoux and Fauchon are on offer alongside luxury shops including Armani and Patek Philippe. Ladies can indulge in one of Boudoir Boutique’s beauty and spa services. As implied, the area is probably one of the priciest ones in terms of rent – but you pay for what you get!

Al Azaiba

This is a rapidly growing area with villas being the primary type of properties on offer. The area is nearby the beach as well, however you will likely need a car to get to the neighbouring shops. This is another area that is popular with expats however and is becoming increasingly popular. The American International School of Muscat is nearby, which is listed in our school guide for Muscat.

Al Mouj

Al Mouj, or previously The Wave, is a gated community of villas and apartments with a very large number of expats. Having its own beach as well as playgrounds for children, this is an ideal place for families. However, it is also suitable for couples with many restaurants and new hotels such as the Kempinski all located within the complex. The beach also has its own yacht marina and sailing facilities for the adventurous!


If you’re seeking an opportunity in Oman, please find available roles here. Kingpin International is an expert in tax recruitment around the world.

If you are interested in a move to Oman or anywhere else in the world and would like to speak to Kingpin International about International Tax Opportunities, please contact a member of the team. Alternatively, please browse our current International Tax vacancies.

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