Cost of Living in Oman
Living a western lifestyle in Oman will have a cost of living comparable to European countries. But, Oman’s tax free environment is encouraging to potential expats, giving opportunity to save while enjoying a relaxed lifestyle.
The real estate boom in Oman is mainly due to the growing expat population. A Royal Decree passed in 2006 allowed foreigners and working expatriates to own real estate properties on Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITCs). Amongst the numerous projects are The Wave and The Blue City. By virtue of the acquisition, residency rights are immediately gained by foreign property owners along with their immediate family.
Buying a Property
Property prices in The Wave for a 302 to 410 square meter three-bedroom villa ranges from OMR149,500 (US$338,352) to OMR270,175 (US$701,826) and a 365 to 491 square meters four-bedroom villa ranges from OMR187,695 (US$487,570) to OMR338,745 (US$879,948).
The real estate development ITC-project is the Blue City where residential units sell at a premium. In Al Sawadi, a one-bedroom apartment costs OMR114,200 (US$296,654) and a two-bedroom house costs OMR190,600 (US$495,116).
Omani property owners rent their property as another reliable source of income.
Rental accommodation has doubled within the past year. A one-bedroom apartment in Ruwi, a business district in Muscat, can range from OMR250 (USD$650) to OMR300 (USD$780).
Prices in the coastal area are relatively higher. Prices in Azaiba, a coastal village in Muscat, will range from OMR500 (USD$1,300) to OMR600 (USD$1,560) monthly for a 2-bedroom apartment.
A new rental regulation stipulates that landlords may increase the amount of rent every three year and by a maximum of 7% of the annual rent value of the lease contract.
High speed broadband internet is available in Muscat, although not available in some areas. Internet costs vary depending on speed; it is approximately 40 OMR for 512 ADSL connections. Water, phone and electricity bill depends on the usage; prices can range from 20 to 60 OMR monthly. Electricity bills are higher especially in summer.
Muslims do not eat or prepare pork, which is why pork is found in a different area in the supermarket. Since pork is not locally farmed, it is more expensive than other meat. A kilogram of pork chop or loin costs OMR 3.50.
Expats enjoy a variety of British, European and Asian food found in supermarkets like Al Qurm, Madinat Sultan Qaboos, Al Sarooj and Zakher Mall. These are the only places where frozen pork, prosciutto, salami and ham are sold.
Buying imported food can be expensive. But if one sticks to the Middle Eastern cuisine that has plenty of vegetables, herbs and fresh fruits then you'll find the prices can come amazingly cheap yet high in quality. Buying a kilogram of spinach, tomatoes, lettuce and sprouts costs OMR0.50 each. A kilogram of orange costs OMR0.50 and grapes costs OMR1.50 per kilogram.
One can allot an average of OMR 75 monthly food budget for two persons.
Expat Services in Oman
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