Living in Oman

Muscat

The Sultanate of Oman is a country on the South-Eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, sharing land borders with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The population of the country is around 4 million making it one of the most sparsely populated on the planet. But Oman’s emergence as a key economic hub in the Gulf led to increased number of expats arriving in the country - about 40% of Oman’s are expats. The capital Muscat contains about 50% of the country’s population and is ranked 10th on the list of ‘Best Cities for Expats’.

For more, see here; https://www.internations.org/oman-expats/guide

A significant portion of Oman’s economy involves tourism and trade of fish, dates, and agricultural produce. The World Bank classifies Oman as a high-income economy, while the Global Peace Index ranks it as the 70th most peaceful country in the world.

Interesting facts

  • Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world
  • Oman’s National Day is celebrated on 18 November
  • The majority of Omanis still farm or fish
  • If you want to buy alcohol in Oman, you must have a license. Omanis are permitted to spend no more than 10% of their monthly income on alcohol
  • The falcon is the national bird of Oman.
  • Oman has 4 UNESCO world heritage sites; Bahla Fort, The Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn, Nakhal Fort and Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

 

COST OF LIVING

Visa

The procedure for sponsoring a foreign worker to work in an Omani company rests mostly on the employer, who must obtain several documents – long term employment requires a greater number of documents and procedures to follow. The employer must acquire an employment visa for entry into Oman, a resident card to remain in the country and a residence permit. In Oman, all these documents apply to employees who are between the age of 21 and 60 who have received a job offer from an Omani company. The employer becomes the visa sponsor and will usually obtain the necessary visas and permits from the Ministry of Manpower.

For more, see here; https://www.manpower.gov.om/portal/index.aspx

Cost of living in Oman is 25.13% lower than in United Kingdom (aggregate data for all cities, rent is not taken into account) and it is currently listed in 68th place in the Global Index for Living Standards. As Oman has no personal income tax, it’s a popular choice for expats.

For more information, see here; https://mobilityexchange.mercer.com/Insights/cost-of-living-rankings

Additionally, the capital Muscat ranks 103 of 209 in Mercer’s Cost of City Living Index. The rankings demonstrate how currency fluctuations and shifts in the prices of goods and services affects the purchasing power of expats in Bahrain.

For more, see here; https://mobilityexchange.mercer.com/Insights/cost-of-living-rankings

However, it’s very important to compare your living expenses and make sure that your salary will be able to cover it all. Here’s an idea of what you should budget for.

Housing

Rent Per Month

Average  €

Range  €

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre

569.42

279.65 - 932.18

Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre

391.34

233.04 - 582.61

Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre

971.61

466.09 - 1,864.35

Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre


656.71 

419.48 - 1,048.70

 

Transport 

Oman’s public buses service the entire county - from the port city of Sohar in the north to Salalah over 1,000 kilometres south. These buses are run by a state-owned transport company and are highly affordable. Their connectivity and affordability make them ideal for traveling long distances.

Oman’s orange and white privately taxis are almost ubiquitous. They aren’t fitted with meters and prices can vary widely depending on whether you are willing to share a ride, can negotiate effectively and don’t mind waiting for a driver who lowers their price. They are the most common form of transportation in Oman, linking cities, neighbourhoods, villages and governorates. These taxis are typically found along the main roads of every city and major town.

For more information, see Oman’s Ministry of transport: https://www.motc.gov.om/DefaultEn.aspx

Schooling

Throughout the Gulf, expats prefer to send their children to international schools, where risks of a culture shock in terms of language barriers and learning processes are minimised. Oman, chiefly the capital Muscat, has a good range of international schools, many of which offer a British style curriculum and internationally recognised qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate. A full list can be found on the Expat Arrivals website as well as the curriculums each school follows. Attending an international school allows children to make the transition across countries slightly easier. Places in these schools fill up quickly, therefore it is recommended that organising schooling be a priority before arriving in Oman.

For a greater insight into schooling in Bahrain, check out Kingpin’s in depth guide here;- http://www.kingpininternational.com/news/article/kingpins-guide-schooling-oman/

Other considerations

Utilities (Monthly)

Average  €

Range €

Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment

46.70 

 

23.30 - 69.9

1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)

0.13

0.07 - 0.23

Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

62.61

46.60 - 81.56

 

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, across Direct Tax, Transfer Pricing or Indirect Tax please contact a member of the team. Alternatively, view our current International Tax vacancies.