Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How much is the living cost in Muscat & Salalah? A FAQ

Dearest readers, I need help.

I get a lot of emails from people who for some reason think I offer a private employment and immigration advice service. I don't.

The questions usually include "what's the cost of living in Oman?"

Now the answer to that is as long as a piece of string. To live like I do you would need a prodigiously ridiculous amount of money. I'd guess that just my monthly booze bill - 180 RO? 250 RO? - is more than 3 times what an Omani's housemaid would earn, Note: I'm counting eating out drinks.

Some expats survive for all their expenses on say a couple of hundred rials a month, if they are willing to share accomodation, take biaza buses, and eat cheap.

Meanwhile a comfortable Western Expat life (if you're child free) could probably be had for 2000 rials a month... (?) And a drop dead decent salary would be anything over 4k I'd guess.

At all levels the key is the allowances you can get. Housing? What type? Utilities? Car? Flights? Medical? Schooling??? (that's a big one)

Moving in allowance, signing bonus, minimum payment on termination, 13th month/ pension contribution? End of service benefit (statutory minimum 1 month per year based on base salary, usually paid per annum), repatriation deal, visa assistance, liquor licence fee,...

So, readers. Please add some info and data to all this. What are the current rents? What do you think the various costs of living are? What are typical salary levels? Any advice for these wanna-be expats?

Photo: A lot of potential expats are curious about what it costs to live in Oman


  1. I'm not sure, but for an expat coming with his family, he would need a minimum of RO1000 allowance for renting a decent place.

  2. Or 1500. Not sure either.

  3. it caN b p-nuts...
    it can b RO 3000/week
    r ur vices smokin ur finances
    -safe saif

  4. All I can say is one of the reasons why I and sevceral of my friends have left Oman is the salary/package is not as competitive as it used to be, more money can be made elsewhere,. It is very easy to get stuck in Oman, beautiful country, good people (of all races) and I was one who just plodded along.

    I can't see it getting any better for European ex-pats in terms of salary.

  5. Another factor is education. I don't even know how much ABA costs but it's around 4000 a year, no?

    Housing is another key factor and depends where you live. It varies like any where but you can find a nice place for 400 and up.

  6. Abdudhabi effect has started in UAE. Burj Dubai named Burj Khalifa and now media freedom is getting throttled.

  7. All expatriates are here for their own reasons. Mine was the adventure of trying something new and different. Each expatriate has a knowledge, experience, or skill that the Omanis either don't have yet or don't want to have. This is what we get paid for. How much it costs to live in Oman depends on our circumstances and the life style we expats want. But I firmly believe that we as expats must give back non-monetary payments to Oman, like developing young Omanis. The expat who is here only for the money is the economic equivalent of a prostitute.

  8. Abdullah

    I think you are a bit off topic. The question was "what is the cost of living in Muscat" not what is our moral obligation. People are paid to do a job they rest is up to each person.

  9. For Salalah,

    Rent is between 150 - 300 if you want a 2-3 bedroom flat. It's pretty cheap compared to Muscat.

    I guess you'd end up spending about 500 Rials here monthly.

    Salary-wise there isn't a huge expat community in Salalah. Mostly teachers and some people out in the industrial area/Salalah Port area.

    1. Is this the salary paid to the college faculty in Al Buraimi and no moving allowance for someone moving from the US

      Basic Salary: 600
      Accommodation Allowance: 200
      Transportation Allowance: 100
      Electricity Allowance: 36
      Water Allowance: 8

      however, there are no moving allowances.

  10. As a 1 child European family;
    Rent 1200,
    Car 210,
    Food 300,
    Going out.....
    Maid 120
    all above per month
    School fees 1650 per term.

    We do save on the food though by doing a huge shop in Dubai whenever we go there and I'm not talking pork, just basics are loads cheaper there!!!

  11. Stimulus- If my little bit of words can make you LOL, you must have a pretty dull life.

  12. Abdullah, don't do yourself down mate. You're unintentionally hilarious.

  13. I have a transit of 15 hrs in muscat, How much money will it roughly cost?
    taxi from international airport to the city ,food & would like to know what interesting place that i could vist in that few hours.

  14. i got a job offer of Omani riyal 450 + accomodation + transport I would like to know the food expenses for 3 times a day breakfast lunch dinner

  15. i got an offer of 450 omr(as a soft engg) + medical + accomodation + elec + water
    is this good amount for bachlor plz let me know

  16. Hello
    I am moving to Salalah to teach in September. Please give me an idea of the rent I can expect to pay near the College of Technology for a decent one bedroomed apartment. Thanks

  17. Date :Jul 2010.
    Dear All Can you please suggest me the cost of living in Muscat for Family of 5 ( Self, spouse, 2 kids ( 12 & 10 yrs) and mother).
    1) Furnished 3 bedroom ( near City Center)
    2) School fees , stationary, pvt tution and Buses
    3) Monthly Avg Food/ Grocery Expenditure ( Veg)
    4) Electricity / Water Charges
    5) Pool Transport / Bus / Pvt Taxi
    6) Avg Mobile Charges
    7) Avg Internet Charges
    8) Avg Leisure ( eg once a week family outing for dinner & movie etc to near by malls)
    10 ) Avg salary for CA with 14 years of experience
    Please suggest

    Position : Manager - Finance & Accounts (Cost Accountant).

    [Automobile Division of a diverse business groups]

    Location : Oman - (Muscat)

    Qualifications : ICWA,M.Com. (Cost Accountants Preferred, M.Com ,CA Inter,ICWA Inter)

    Experience : 6-14 Yrs.

    Salary : OMR 475 - 550 P.M+ Furnished Housing, Car, Petrol, Mobile, Bonus, Family status



  19. What is the salary of a Post graduate teacher in INDIAN SCHOOL MUSCAT

  20. i have got an offer from a reputed hospital for the post of Customer Care Executive in Muscat with the salary of 225OMR/Month + accommodation. my duty will be 10 hrs a day and one day weekly off. is that enough salary for me to save and live in muscat.Recently i came to know that there is a slight changes in labour laws in oman. whether it will applicable to my profession too.Please reply

  21. Hello, I would like to know the cost of life for a senior Engineer for an oil company relocating with family (wife and special need son) How much would the standard be?

  22. Hi, I am a housewife from Cebu, Philippines. My husband has an offer from a company in Oman. They offer 1300 OR plus 500 OR allowance plus accomodation allowance. Will my family (husband, me + 2 kids 11 & 8 yrs old) be able to live comfortably on this salary in Muscat? Will we be able to find decent accomodation at 350 OR monthly rental? Pls somebody tell me....

    1. oh!!! That's a huge amt,, u can easily survive with this.

  23. I have got an offer in muscat for remunaration of 225 O.R P.M with accomadation can i survive with a middle class living??

  24. Hi,

    I got an offer from suad bahwan group..they are paying me 165 Omani riyals+ food, accommodation, travel etc.what do you think about the package? lemme know whether i can save some money

    1. Hi,i also got an offer from SAUD BAHWAn for 350 OMR PM, what is your qualification by the way.

  25. Hi!

    I have a job offer with a company in Muscat. They are offering 2000OMR without accomodation . Is this sufficient for a decent living ( couple +2 kids).

    1. It depends where you want to live. A decent house, not somewhere behind the airport is around 800-1000 per month. What about schooling? Cars? (you need 2 as in Oman you drive everywhere)

  26. How much is the school fee for a decent school in Muscat?


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