Accommodation in Oman
There has been a growth in residential development in recent years and expats looking for accommodation in Oman will have a variety of options to choose from.
Most expats in Oman live in the capital of Muscat and the towns that encompass the Capital Region, including Ruwi, Muttrah and Qurum.
Types of accommodation in Oman
Most expat accommodation in Oman is in the form of apartments, stand-alone villas or townhouses, often within a secure housing compound. Most homes are new and well maintained, although there have been complaints of poor construction standards and neglectful landlords.
Accommodation for expats in Oman is mostly unfurnished, although furnished options are also available. Costs vary according to the size, facilities and area.
Facilities at apartment blocks often include gyms, swimming pools and a laundry, while villas normally have maids' quarters and a garden too. Expat housing compounds usually also offer amenities such as restaurants, shops, swimming pools, tennis courts, and even golf courses.
Renting accommodation in Oman
Most expats choose to rent in Oman. Rental agreements are generally for one year, and the lease is negotiable. A deposit of two months’ rent is required to secure an apartment or villa, and the first two months’ rent may be payable upfront. However, this is often negotiable. If a company is paying for the accommodation, the deposit is sometimes waived as the rent for the entire lease period will usually be paid up front.
Utilities such as water, gas and electricity are excluded from the quoted rental price. It’s important to read the rental agreement carefully as this will outline what maintenance and utilities the tenant is responsible for and what charges the landlord is responsible for.
Finding accommodation in Oman
Employers in Oman often provide accommodation for their expat employees, or include a housing allowance as part of the package for their foreign workers. So expats should factor this into their contract negotiations.
For those seeking accommodation without their employer’s assistance, there are a number of online property portals to choose from. A safer option is to use the services of a real estate agent, who will be able to speak the language and understand the local nuances of the Oman property market.