Cost of Living in Oman: Cost of living in Muscat for Indian Family

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Did you know: According to the InterNations Expat City Ranking 2023, Muscat, Oman is listed as the 10th best city for expats to live abroad. As per the survey, the friendly locals and affordable housing make Muscat a great place to live for international students. 

Furthermore, as per data provided by the Oman Government, around 550 Indian students are studying in the top universities/ colleges in Oman. These top universities include Sultan Qaboos University, ranked #10 in QS Arab Region University Rankings 2024 and Dhofar University, ranked #81-90.

With all this exciting data, Oman emerges as a top choice for many Indian students looking to study abroad. If you are also thinking of leaping, one essential thing you must understand is the cost of living in Oman for Indian students.

Read this comprehensive guide to learn all about the cost of living in Muscat, Oman in 2024. It covers everything from accommodation and food to transportation expenses. 

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Key Highlights

HighlightTable
Number of Indian Students Studying in Oman550
Cost of Living in OmanINR 23k without rent
Average Rent in the City CentreINR 20k for 1 bedroom apartment
Average Food ExpensesAffordable restaurant: INR 160Mid-range restaurant: INR 500
Transportation ExpensesMonthly Pass Regular Price: INR 1,900
Utility CostBasic utilities: INR 3,300
Top UniversitiesSultan Qaboos University
Dhofar UniversityGulf College
Average Tuition FeesINR 5L to INR 12L 
Average SalaryINR 1L to INR 5L 
Top ScholarshipsSQU Scholarships
National University of Science and Technology Scholarships
Late Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Araimi Memorial Scholarship

Why Choose Oman?

Oman offers international students a wonderful opportunity to experience life in a thriving Arab culture. The country’s higher education system has expanded crazily over the past two decades, from a single college in 1995 to nearly 30 institutions today. 

Read on to learn why Oman is an excellent choice for international studies. 

Cost of Living in Oman: Cost of living in Muscat for Indian Family
  • Academic Excellence: Sultan Qaboos University is one of the top public universities in Muscat, Oman. It is ranked #454 in the QS World University Rankings 2024 and 10th in the QS Rankings for the Arab Region 2024. 
  • Promising Opportunities for Indian Students: About 550 Indian students are already pursuing their educational dreams in Oman, creating a supportive environment for fellow Indians to grow academically. 
  • Exciting Job Prospects: According to InterNationsExpat Insider Survey 2023, Oman has emerged as a top destination to live and work. Great Places to Work has revealed “Best Workplaces in Oman for the year 2024” featuring companies such as  Hilton, DHL Express, BFL Group and more. 
  • High Quality of Life: According to the Numbeo Index for the 2023 mid-year, Muscat has emerged as the number 1 city in Asia for Quality of Life

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Cost of Living in Oman: Cost of living in Muscat for Indian Family

Cost of Living in Oman for Indian Students

According to the survey on the cost of living in Muscat by Mercer, the capital city of Oman secured the 130th position, offering a relatively affordable living cost in comparison to other popular Saudi Arab cities. For instance, the cost of living in Muscat is 20.9% lower than in Riyadh.

An estimation of the cost of living in Oman for a single person is approximately INR 23k without rent. However, please note that the average cost of living in Oman can vary significantly depending on the choice of location, your lifestyle choices and spending habits. 

Cost of Accommodation in Oman

When you plan to move to Oman for higher studies, it is important to take into account your accommodation budget. Housing rental prices totally depend on the location and type of house you opt for. For instance, students living in Muscat would pay higher rent compared to other smaller capitals like Sohar or Salalah. Moreover, opting for flats/ apartments would cost more than choosing on-campus accommodation. 

For instance, Dhofar University in Salalah provides on-campus accommodation free of charge to female students. In case you are a male or female student seeking private accommodation, the concerned student support team can help you in finding accommodation at an affordable cost. Therefore, with adequate planning, it is possible to reduce your overall cost of living in Oman per month. 

Please note: The cost of living in Oman with rent can vary significantly depending on the choice of location and your lifestyle choices.

Rent Comparison: Muscat Vs Salalah

Did you know that rent prices in Salalah are 54.4% lower than in Muscat? International students planning to study in Oman, particularly in Muscat should take this into consideration when planning their overall cost of living in Oman per month. 

Apartment LocationEstimated Cost of Living in Muscat per MonthEstimated Cost of Living in Salalah per Month
1 bedroom apartment in city centre1 bedroom apartment in the city centreINR 10k
1 bedroom apartment outside of centreINR 13kINR 7k
3 bedroom apartment in city centreINR 38kINR 16k
3 bedroom apartment outside of centreINR 25kINR 12k

Rent Comparison: Muscat Vs Sohar

The overall rent prices in Sohar are approximately 26.5% lower than in Muscat. Hence, international students intending to study in Muscat can consider shared accommodation or housing options provided by the university to drastically reduce their rental expenses. For instance, Majan College in Muscat offers international students 20% discounts on hostel promotions.

Apartment LocationEstimated Cost of Living in Muscat per MonthEstimated Cost of Living in Sohar per Month
1 bedroom apartment in city centreINR 20kINR 16k
1 bedroom apartment outside of centreINR 13kINR 12k
3 bedroom apartment in city centre1 bedroom apartment in the city centreINR 23k
3 bedroom apartment outside of centreINR 25kINR 21k

Cost of Food in Oman

Omani’s traditional and mouth-watering cuisine truly reflects the country’s unique culture. Some of the dishes generally enjoyed by people are Mashuai (meat and rice combination), Maqbous (Biryani), Shuwa (grilled meat) and the popular Omani bread. When it comes to dining out in Oman, there’s something to suit every student’s budget. An affordable meal at a local restaurant would cost around INR 160 while dining at a mid-range restaurant typically averages INR 500. 

Here is an overview of the food cost including groceries to help you effectively plan your budget.

ParticularsEstimated Cost
McDonald’sINR 250
CappuccinoINR 160
Pepsi (0.33 litre bottle)INR 25
1 litre milkINR 60
500g Loaf of Fresh White BreadINR 35
12 Eggs (regular) INR 80
1kg Apples INR 75
1kg BananaINR 60
1kg TomatoINR 40
1kg OnionINR 30
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)INR 600

Additional Tip: Students can manage their food bills and the overall cost of living in Oman by cooking at home or looking for budget-friendly restaurants when dining out. Baba Salem, Aroos AI-Bahar Grilled Restaurant and Kabab Planet are among the affordable restaurants you can explore. 

Transportation Cost in Oman

Did you know that college and university students in Oman can travel free via the public transport network for 2 years in Muscat and Salalah? This move by the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology is aimed to facilitate access to educational institutions. 

In general, transportation in Oman is quite affordable as well as accessible. Many students prefer to use public transportation options like buses and taxis. Taxi and cab services are readily available for hire at low prices by anybody, making transportation quite convenient.

The best part? There are many colleges and universities in Oman including Dhofar University, Majan College and more that provide free transportation for their students to and from the college. 

Mode of TransportEstimated Cost
Taxi 1km – Normal TariffINR 25
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)INR 125
Gasoline – 1 litreINR 20
Monthly Pass – Regular PriceINR 1,900
One-way Ticket – Local TransportINR 50

Cost of Utilities in Oman

The basic utility cost in Oman comprises essential services such as electricity, garbage, and water, among other things. These costs are 40.4% lower in Salalah compared to Muscat. When considering the cost of living in Oman, it’s recommended that international students should research and plan accordingly to manage expenses in an effective manner.

Let’s look at the monthly living expenses in Oman, focusing on utility costs. 

UtilitiesEstimated Monthly Cost
Internet – 60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, CableINR 2,400
Basic – Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, and moreINR 3,300
Mobile Phone – Calls and 10GB+ DataINR 1,300

By now, we are sure that you have an idea of the average cost of living in Oman as an Indian student. Let’s check out the top universities in the country and see how much they charge for tuition fees annually. This will provide you with a personalised estimate of the total cost of living in Oman with rent. 

Top Universities in Oman

Ranked as the 48th most peaceful country by the Global Peace Index, Oman is a safe country for Indian students who want to study abroad. The enrollment rate in higher education in Oman stands at 43.84%. With time, an increasing number of international students are attracted to this country because of guaranteed security and a growing economy. 

Oman’s top institutions for higher education are Sultan Qaboos University and Dhofar University. The language of instruction is mainly English in most of the universities. As proof of English proficiency, most universities in Oman accept IELTS or TOEFL scores. For instance, to enrol in an English course at Sultan Qaboos University, applicants must secure 5.5 in IELTS or 69 in TOEFL for the Masters program. 

Here’s a list of the top 5 universities in Oman for international students and their respective rankings per the QS Arab Region University Rankings 2024. 

UniversityQS Arab Region University Rankings 2024
Sultan Qaboos University#10
Dhofar University#81-90
Gulf College#101-110
Sohar University#101-110
National University of Science and TechnologyNA

Eager to check out the courses at these top universities in Oman and how much money will you be paying as tuition fees? Read on!

Please note: The annual tuition fee can significantly vary based on the college you choose and the course you pick. These numbers are only indicative.  

  1. Sultan Qaboos University

Looking to study at the top university in Oman? Well, Sultan Qaboos University should be your pick. The university offers more than sixty-five Bachelor’s degree programs. Earlier, Sultan Qaboos University had 5 colleges, but currently, it boasts a total of 9 colleges.

Courses Offered

At Sultan Qaboos University, you’ll find many courses that cater to your interests: 

ProgramsCourses
Post GraduateM.Sc Programs
Applied Mathematics
Biology
Architectural Engineering
Under GraduateAgricultural Engineering
Physical Education
Art Education
Applied Chemistry
Average Annual Tuition FeesINR 6L to INR 18L
  1. Dhofar University

Located in the city of Salalah, Dhofar University is the only university in the region offering diploma, bachelor and postgraduate degree programs. The campus is home to approximately 5,000 students. The academic year at Dhofar University is divided into two main semesters – Fall and Spring, each lasting sixteen weeks. 

Courses Offered

There are currently 4 colleges at Dhofar University providing a total of 56 Academic Programs in different fields of specialisation. This includes 16 Diploma programs, 26 Bachelor’s degree programs,13 Master’s degree programs and a Teaching Diploma.

CollegesCourses 
The College of Arts and Applied SciencesDiploma in Computer Science
Bachelor of Arts in English Language
Master of Education in Counseling
Master of Science in Information Technology
The College of Commerce and Business AdministrationDiploma in Accounting
Diploma in Finance
Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in Marketing
Master in Management
The College of EngineeringDiploma in Chemical Engineering
Diploma in Interior Architecture
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
The College of LawBachelor of LawMaster in Private LawMaster in Public Law
Average Annual Tuition FeesINR 6L to INR 15L
  1. Gulf College

Next on our list of top universities in Oman is Gulf College. Located in Al Mabela, Muscat, the campus is a 20-minute drive from Muscat International Airport. Applicants seeking admission to the undergraduate program must showcase English language proficiency with IELTS 5.0 and a minimum score of 4.5 per skill.

Courses Offered

Thinking about studying Marketing Management, Finance or Business Information Systems? Gulf College has got you covered. 

ProgramsCourses
Under GraduateMarketing Management
Business Information Systems
Computer Science
Post GraduateProject Management
Marketing
Finance
Average Annual Tuition FeesINR 15L to INR 22L
  1. Sohar University

Established in 2001, Sohar University is the first private university in Oman. The university is known for its state-of-the-art facilities and renowned labs which provide excellent resources for research and knowledge transfer. Sohar University has a total of 10,957 students across 41 programs. 

Courses Offered

Choose from the top 6 courses at the university to secure a high-paying job.

  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Law
  • Education and Arts
  • Computing and IT
  • Language Studies

Average Annual Tuition Fees: INR 9L to INR 22L

  1. National University of Science and Technology

If you’d like to pursue a course in the engineering field, look no further than the National University of Science and Technology. With four campuses featuring over 4200 students from 37 nationalities, the university offers dining, transport and accommodation facilities as per your needs. 

Courses Offered

At the National University of Science and Technology, you’ll find multiple options to choose from Diploma, Undergraduate and Graduate courses. 

ProgramCourses
DiplomaMechanical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Quantity Surveying
UndergraduateMedicine
Pharmacy
Computer Engineering
GraduateClinical Pharmacy
Construction Management
Electrical Engineering
Average Annual Tuition FeesINR 7L to INR 20L

Top 3 Affordable Universities in Oman

The Government of Oman strongly emphasises education and considers it a key to all dimensions of development. They have been focusing on it since the Renaissance era. That being said, let’s talk about the top universities in Oman that offer quality education without breaking the bank.

Universities Average Tuition Fees
Mazoon University CollegeINR 1L
Modern College of Business and ScienceINR 1.5L
Scientific College of DesignINR 2.5L

Scholarships to Reduce Cost of Living in Oman

Cost of Living in Oman: Cost of living in Muscat for Indian Family

Looking for ways to further reduce the cost of living in Oman? Well, you will be delighted to hear that many universities in Oman offer scholarships for Indian students. Here are some scholarship opportunities in Oman that can help you plan accordingly. 

Scholarship NameOffered ByBenefit
SQU ScholarshipsSultan Qaboos UniversityMonthly allowance during the scholarship period
Master: INR 54,000PhD: INR 76,000
Ticket annually to international students (return)
National University of Science and Technology ScholarshipsNational University of Science and Technology 50% discount on total tuition fee
Late Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Araimi Memorial ScholarshipNational University of Science and Technology 50% discount on the total tuition fee

Let’s consider the case of Sohan, a married individual with two children, who wishes to pursue a PhD at Sultan Qaboos University. By availing of SQU scholarships, Sohan and his family can drastically reduce the cost of living in Muscat. This means reduced tuition fees, making the overall cost of living in Muscat for Indian families more manageable!

So, the key for Indian students aiming to secure scholarships is to consistently keep an eye on newly announced scholarship opportunities and focus on maintaining good grades to showcase their academic achievement. 

Eligibility Criteria for Scholarships in Oman

Here is the general eligibility criteria for scholarships in Oman for undergraduate programs.

  • Applicants must have completed the general education diploma or equivalent curriculum within the last 3 years from the date of application
  • Should not be above 23 years of age at the time of applying for the scholarship
  • Should have achieved an overall IELTS band score 5 to meet the requirements of English taught undergraduate program in Oman
  • Should have achieved 80% in Arabic language or more as a school subject as required by educational institutions offering Arabic programs
  • Must submit proof that the secondary school certificate was issued abroad and have been recognised and approved by the Ministry of Education in the Sultanate

How to Reduce the Cost of Living in Oman for Indian Students

Living and studying in Oman can offer fantastic opportunities to Indian students. To help you further reduce your cost of living in Oman, consider the following tips and tricks.

  1. Part-Time Work

While part-time work is generally not allowed to Indian students in Oman without obtaining a work permit, they can make a special request to their university for permission. Once permission is granted, students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week during academic sessions while full-time during university breaks or vacations.

In some cases, students have the option to work on-campus in specific positions within the university such as research assistants, library assistants and more. Working part-time for Indian students can be instrumental in reducing your overall cost of living in Oman.

  1. Accommodation Hacks

Avoid opting for a solo apartment and instead consider staying for hostel accommodation to significantly lower your cost of living in Oman. As stated before, a few colleges such as Dhofar University in Salalah provide on-campus accommodation at an affordable rate or free of charge to students. So, if you’re planning to study in Oman, exploring hostel options provided by universities could be a great option. 

  1. Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarship opportunities can significantly reduce the overall cost of living in Oman by lowering tuition fees. For instance, the scholarship opportunities offered by the National University of Science and Technology help lower tuition fees by 20% for both full-time and part-time students. In brief, the reduction of tuition fees greatly impacts the cost of living in Oman, making it easier for students to manage their finances. 

Top 5 High-Paying Jobs That Breakeven Initial Investment in Studying

Did you know: that Dr. Mahad bin Saeed Baowain, Minister of Labour has announced a target to create 35,000 jobs in the public and private sectors while achieving a 90% rate of job replacement in the government sector during the year 2024? As of August 2023, the total number of employees in permanent and temporary jobs in the government sector reached about 1,95,902, comprising 1,70,735 Omanis and 25,167 non-Omanis. 

While the cost of living in Oman is relatively low compared to other Gulf countries, understanding the earning potential is crucial for Indian students. Here is a list of the top 5 high-paying jobs that can help you recover the initial investment in studying. 

Top High-Paying JobsAverage Monthly Salary
Surgeons/ DoctorsINR 14L
JudgesINR 12L
LawyersINR 10L
Bank ManagersINR 9L
Chief Executive OfficersINR 8.5L

By understanding the salary prospects and the cost of living in Oman per month, you can make informed decisions about your career path and gain valuable insight into the overall lifestyle you can expect in Oman.  

List of Top Recruitment Companies

A renowned research and training firm, Great Place to Work, has revealed its list of ‘Best Workplaces in Oman 2024’ which includes a total of 15 organisations in Oman. Here is a list of the best companies to work in Oman in 2024. 

  • Hilton
  • InterContinental Group Hotels & Resorts
  • DHL Express
  • Abdulwahab’s Office
  • PSA BDP (BDP Logistics LLC)
  • Adriatic Aluminium & Glazing
  • BFL Group
  • Advanced Control Systems and Communications LLC
  • TAV Operation Services
  • Insight for Financial, Business and IT Consulting and Services LLC
  • Gastronomica General Trading Co.L.L.C
  • Jumeirah Muscat Bay
  • Jindal Shadeed Iron & Steel LLC
  • Air Products Majan SPC
  • Apparel Group

To Conclude:

With a detailed overview of accommodation, food, utilities and other essentials, we have highlighted the key elements of the cost of living in Oman for a single person. From top universities such as Sultan Qaboos University and Dhofar University to promising career options in the fields of Data Science, Finance and more, Oman is truly an attractive destination for Indian students looking to broaden their horizons. 

Carefully planning your cost of living in Oman and exploring scholarship opportunities can help make your dream of studying in the Sultanate of Oman a reality!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Is it expensive to live in Oman?

    A. The cost of living in Oman is actually lower than in many other countries. For instance, if we compare Muscat and Dubai, the cost of Living in Muscat is 29.0% lower than in Dubai without including the rent.

  • Q. How much does rent cost in Oman?

    A. The cost of living in Oman depends on the location and the type of accommodation you choose to stay in. However, here is a rough estimate along with the accommodation type: 

    1 bedroom apartment in city centre – INR 17k
    1 bedroom apartment outside of centre – INR 12k
    3 bedroom apartment in city centre – INR 30k
    3 bedroom apartment outside of centre – INR 21k

  • Q. Is Oman a good country to work in?

    A. According to InterNationsExpat Insider Survey 2023, Oman has emerged as a top destination to live and work. The ever-growing job market and career opportunities allow one to enjoy a good work-life balance and job security in Oman. 

  • Q. Is Muscat cheaper than Dubai?

    A. Living expenses in Muscat including rent is 47.3% lower than in Dubai. Even restaurant prices in Muscat are 40.1% lower than in Dubai. Hence, if you plan to move to Muscat you could be saving a lot of money. 

  • Q. Is Oman tax-free for Indians?

    A. Yes! Oman is a tax-free zone. Currently, no personal income tax law has been enacted in Oman. This is a significant benefit for Indians working or studying in Oman, as the tax-free status makes their overall cost of living in Oman more affordable.

  • Q. What is the average salary in Oman for Indians?

    A. The average salary in Oman ranges from INR 20L to INR 25L. However, it is important to note here that the average salary varies based on job profile, experience and level of education. For instance, an accountant in Muscat, Oman can earn around INR 8L whereas the average salary for Civil Engineer ranges between INR 10L to INR 15L.

  • Q. Does Oman allow students to work on student visas?

    A. No, students are generally not allowed to work on a student visa part-time or full time. They are only entitled to complete their internship which is related to the course for which they are enrolled.
    However, under certain circumstances, international students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week after obtaining prior approval from their university or educational institution. In such cases, the university measures the impact of the part-time work on the student’s academic progress.


  • Q. Which job is in most demand in Oman?

    A. Some of the most in-demand jobs in Oman along with their average pay per year are as follows:

    Sales Executive: INR 12L to INR 15L
    Project Engineer: INR 18L to INR 25L
    Financial Analyst: INR 3L to INR 5L
    Business Development Engineer: INR 40L to INR 50L

  • Q. Is dining out affordable in Oman?

    A. Yes, dining out in Oman is generally affordable. It totally depends on the type of restaurants you prefer. Oman provides students with a range of meal options to suit every budget type. A meal at a local restaurant costs around INR 160, while dining at a mid-range restaurant averages somewhere around INR 500.

  • Q. Is Oman a safe place to live for international students?

    A. According to the Expat Insider 2023 Survey, Oman ranked 4th for personal safety and 9th for political stability. In fact, according to Numbeo data, the level of crime rate in Muscat, Oman is quite low. The country is known for its hospitality, making it a comfortable place for international students.

  • Q. Which languages are spoken in Oman?

    A. While Arabic is the official language of Oman, English is commonly spoken in cities. Besides Arabic and English, you may hear people speaking the following languages: Kumzari, Baluchi, and Swahili.

  • Q. Which is the best place to work in Oman?

    A. A renowned research and training firm, Great Place to Work, has revealed its list of ‘Best Workplaces in Oman 2024’ which includes a total of 15 organisations in Oman. The names of the top-ranked industry leaders include Hilton, Adriatic Aluminium and Glazing, BFL Group and PSA BDP, to name a few.


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Saket Kohli

An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.

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