Oman expensive to visit

Is Oman expensive to visit?

Oman, a gem in the Arabian Peninsula, is a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From its pristine beaches to majestic mountains and vibrant markets, Oman offers a unique blend of modernity and tradition that captivates every visitor. But the question remains: is Oman expensive to visit?

Tourism Appeal

Oman has been steadily gaining popularity among travelers seeking an authentic Arabian experience. The country's commitment to preserving its heritage while embracing modern development makes it a fascinating destination. Whether you're exploring ancient forts, diving in crystal-clear waters, or trekking through the stunning deserts, Oman's diverse attractions cater to various interests and budgets.

Travel Costs in Oman

Flights to Oman

Getting to Oman might be one of the more significant expenses, depending on your location. Major international airlines fly into Muscat International Airport, and ticket prices can vary widely based on the season and your departure city. Booking in advance and looking for deals can help mitigate these costs.

Accommodation Costs

Budget Options

For the budget-conscious traveler, Oman offers a range of affordable accommodations. Hostels, guesthouses, and budget hotels are available in major cities like Muscat and Salalah. Prices can be as low as $20 to $50 per night, providing basic amenities and a comfortable stay.

Mid-range Hotels

If you prefer a bit more comfort, mid-range hotels are plentiful. These typically cost between $60 and $120 per night and offer additional amenities such as pools, gyms, and in-house dining options. These hotels strike a good balance between cost and comfort.

Luxury Stays

For those looking to splurge, Oman's luxury resorts and five-star hotels are world-class. Prices can range from $150 to $500 per night or more, depending on the location and the level of luxury. These accommodations often provide exquisite services, private beaches, and breathtaking views.

Transportation Expenses

Public Transport

Public transportation in Oman is not as extensive as in some other countries, but it is affordable. Buses and minibusses connect major cities and towns, with fares being quite low. This can be a cost-effective way to travel if you’re flexible with your schedule.

Car Rentals

Renting a car is a popular option for tourists who want the freedom to explore at their own pace. Prices for car rentals start at around $30 per day for a basic vehicle. Remember to factor in the cost of fuel, which is relatively cheap compared to many other countries.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing

Taxis are widely available but can be expensive for long distances. Ride-sharing services like Uber are not as common, so negotiating fares with taxi drivers is often necessary. For shorter trips within cities, this might be a convenient but pricier option compared to public transport.

Daily Expenses in Oman

Food and Dining

Local Eateries

Eating at local restaurants and food stalls can be incredibly affordable. Traditional Omani dishes such as shawarma, biryani, and kebabs can be enjoyed for as little as $3 to $5 per meal, making it easy to experience the local cuisine without breaking the bank.

Mid-Range Restaurants

For a more diverse dining experience, mid-range restaurants offer a variety of international and local dishes. Expect to spend between $10 to $30 per meal, depending on the establishment and your menu choices.

Fine Dining

Oman's fine dining scene is impressive, with many high-end restaurants offering gourmet meals and exceptional service. Dining at these establishments can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 or more per person, making it a special treat rather than an everyday option.

Sightseeing and Activities

Free Attractions

Oman boasts numerous free attractions, including its beautiful beaches, public parks, and historic sites like the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Exploring these sites can provide a rich cultural experience without any expense.

Paid Activities

There are also many paid activities to consider, such as desert safaris, dolphin watching tours, and entrance fees to certain historical sites and museums. These activities can range from $10 to $100 or more, depending on the experience.

Guided Tours

For a more in-depth exploration, guided tours are available. Prices vary based on the tour length and inclusions but generally start at around $50 per person. These tours can offer valuable insights and convenience, especially for first-time visitors.

Cost of Living for Tourists

Shopping and Souvenirs

Shopping in Oman can be as affordable or as expensive as you make it. Local markets (souks) offer a variety of souvenirs, from traditional Omani crafts to spices and jewelry, at reasonable prices. Bargaining is common and can lead to good deals.

Nightlife and Entertainment

While Oman is not known for a bustling nightlife scene, there are bars, lounges, and cultural performances that tourists can enjoy. Entry fees and drink prices are moderate, with a night out costing around $20 to $50 depending on the venue.

Miscellaneous Costs

Other expenses to consider include tips, laundry services, and incidental purchases. Tipping is customary but not obligatory, with 10% being a standard amount for good service.

Tips for Budget Travelers

Finding Deals and Discounts

Planning ahead and looking for discounts on flights, accommodations, and activities can significantly reduce your travel costs. Websites and apps dedicated to travel deals are excellent resources for budget travelers.

Saving on Food and Drink

Opting for local eateries and avoiding expensive international restaurants can help keep your food budget in check. Additionally, drinking tap water (where safe) instead of buying bottled water can save money.

Economical Transportation

Utilizing public transportation and walking when possible can save a lot on travel expenses. If you plan to rent a car, consider sharing the cost with fellow travelers or choosing smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.


Oman can be as affordable or as luxurious as you want it to be. While certain aspects like accommodation and guided tours can be pricey, there are plenty of ways to experience the country's rich culture and stunning landscapes on a budget. By planning carefully and making informed choices, you can enjoy all that Oman has to offer without overspending.


How much money do I need for a week in Oman?

A budget traveler might spend around $500 to $700, a mid-range budget could be $1,000 to $1,500, and a luxury experience might cost upwards of $2,000 for a week.

Is Oman cheaper than Dubai?

Generally, Oman can be more affordable than Dubai, especially in terms of accommodation and food. However, the cost difference depends on your travel style and preferences.

What is the best time to visit Oman to save money?

The best time to visit Oman on a budget is during the shoulder seasons, from March to May and September to November, when prices are lower, and the weather is still pleasant.

Are there any budget-friendly activities in Oman?

Yes, there are plenty of free or low-cost activities in Oman, such as visiting beaches, exploring markets, hiking in the mountains, and touring historical sites like forts and mosques.

Can I use credit cards in Oman?

Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, larger restaurants, and shops in urban areas. However, it's wise to carry some cash for smaller establishments and markets.