Currency and accommodation tips for newbies to Oman (2023)

Oman is a country of the Arab people, located on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The country is strategically located and has great political importance. Contrary to what is believed in the countries of the Middle East, the country of Oman is very safe. The people of Oman are also very friendly and always open to guests. Therefore, the safety factor should be removed from the list of concerns.


But factors such as currency exchange, money and accommodation are something we cannot give up so easily. The country's capital, Muscat, was awarded the title of Tourism Capital of the Middle East in 2012 and has since received a large number of tourists every year. So you may have problems finding accommodation. Being one of the most developed cities in the country, it has some of the best hotels, but you still need to find the best option according to your requirements, preferences and budget.

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Another problem is money management. If you don't have a well-developed plan, you could end up spending more money than you thought. Since Oman has strict rules and regulations that tourists must adhere to when traveling, they may end up paying heavy fines. So you can save that money by keeping in mind all the rules and regulations that apply. Considering all these factors, here are some important tips or points about currency and accommodation that you should consider when visiting Oman.

Currency and accommodation tips for newbies to Oman (1)

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Currency matters

Most people avoid visiting Middle Eastern countries because they are known to be very expensive for travelers, especially backpackers. Holidays in the Middle East are often associated with luxury travel, as some of the richest countries are located in the Middle East. With the combination of this and Oman's must-see attractions including Wahiba Sands, Jebel Shams and Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, many around the world expect Oman to be an expensive destination to visit due to its extravagant and lavish attractions. So you shouldn't be surprised to hear that most people who travel to the Middle East often think twice before finally deciding to visit. On the contrary, your trip to the country can be cheap if you pay attention to what you are doing. The currency in Oman is the Omani rial, abbreviated OMR. One Omani rial is equal to 1000 biaz, which is approximately £2.00.

The average salary for Omanis is around 2,000 OMR, which means that Oman is a pleasant place to live for those who live and work there. The highest denomination of banknotes in the country is 50 riyals, and coins and banknotes are accepted as valid forms of payment. Since Oman's currency is not closed, you can easily exchange it in your country and then go on the road.

The Omani currency is consistently rated as one of the highest in the world. This is the main reason why people think that Oman is an expensive country. According to 2018 statistics, the Omani currency was the third highest currency in the world, just after Bahrain and Kuwait.

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In addition to exchange rates, travelers often use cards when traveling, which is why the most popular credit cards are accepted at all hotels, restaurants and other establishments. For this, it is best to inform your bank in advance so that you do not have problems using the card. However, remember that taxi drivers in Oman only accept cash, so it's a good idea to bring some rials to pay cash for small purchases and bills. You can also easily withdraw cash from ATMs located in almost all shops, petrol stations and airports. Most ATMs are owned by HSBC and linked to international systems. Visa is the most popular card in Oman, but Mastercard is widely accepted throughout the country.

You should also check your daily withdrawal limit as it may be lower than what you are used to in your country. The daily ATM limit is up to OMR 1,000 from HSBC ATMs but is OMR 500 from OmanNet changeable ATMs in Oman. So these are some of the important factors to consider regarding the money and currency that Oman takes.

Not sure if you can apply for an Oman e-Visa online?See all Oman visa requirements here.

Accommodation options

Accommodation in Oman can be a problem for some. Although there are many hotels in all the major cities of the country, their standard may not be at the level outside the capital Muscat. You may have to pay significantly more for services in cities other than Muscat. Most hotels for tourists are located in the capital. In local towns, there are mostly two-star local hotels. However, the standards may raise doubts. Most places are clean but some may not be that clean for the price you pay. Despite this, they are considered functional homes. Therefore, check the quality and standard of the hotel before you book.

Camping is also a common way to stay in the country. Since there are many beautiful deserts in the country, most travelers pitch their tents and spend the night in the deserts. You can also stay in luxurious desert camps in the countryside. There are many desert camps at Wahiba Sands. Wild camping in the wild is permitted, as long as it is not inhabited nearby. If you want to camp near the village, ask permission before setting up camp.

One of the country's biggest problems is high hotel prices. You can find rooms for 12 OMR in popular places, but in some cases even the cheapest room will cost you as much as 20 OMR. Also one thing you should always check if taxes are included or not. It is important to check that you do not have to pay more than you expected.

The rooms are pretty standard, and you get the two essentials of staying in the Gulf, which are air conditioning and a TV. In most countries, hot water is standard, but in some budget hotels, you may not have immediate access to hot water and may have to wait a few minutes after turning on the water heater before jumping into the shower. You will find that some budget hotels have their own restaurants, but not always. But in such cases, you will easily find food options nearby. Another thing that most Western travelers struggle with is that you can't find alcohol everywhere. That's why you have to go to exclusive places to buy or enjoy alcohol.

See also:Can you drink alcohol in Oman?

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These are just some of the points to keep in mind when traveling to Oman. Knowing that currency and accommodation are the most important elements of any trip, plan your trip according to these rules.

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How much do you tip a guide in Oman? ›


Naturally it is discretionary, but leaving a 10% gratuity in a restaurant, for example, is recommended. A driver might expect US$10 - US$15 per day and a guide perhaps US$20 - US$30. Hotel staff in Oman also appreciate a few dollars where appropriate for services rendered.

What money do I need in Oman? ›

Omani Riyal is the official currency in Oman and although in some shops, restaurants and hotels you may also find that they accept other currencies like the UAE dirham or the US dollar, this should not be relied on.

Does Oman accept US dollars? ›

US dollars are recommended. American Express, MasterCard, and Visa credit cards are readily accepted in large shops and hotels and by an increasing number of traders in souqs. Most banks in cities and towns have ATMs.

What do I need to know before going to Oman? ›

15 things to know before visiting Oman
  • Expect to spend time outdoors. ...
  • English is widely spoken in the cities. ...
  • Learn local greetings. ...
  • Don't drink in public or exhibit drunken behavior. ...
  • Be aware of the rules during Ramadan. ...
  • When meeting a member of the opposite sex, wait for them to offer their hand.
Mar 12, 2022

Do you tip taxis in Oman? ›

It is an etiquette which is ingrained in all trades, from wait staff at restaurants to our baristas, valets, cab drivers, porters, and many more trades. Tipping is not customary in Oman, but visitors can do so if they would like to appreciate a good service.

Do you give tips in Oman? ›

Tipping has not been part of the culture of Oman but is becoming more so. A tip of 10 percent is considered the norm at more expensive hotels and restaurants or rounding up to the next Rial and asking them to keep the change is acceptable. However, elsewhere it is uncommon.

How much is $1 US in Oman? ›

Latest Currency Exchange Rates: 1 US Dollar = 0.385 Omani Rial.

How much cash can I carry to Oman? ›

There are no restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency. However, amounts exceeding OMR6,000 or equivalent must be declared by all travellers.

Can you use credit card in Oman? ›

Credit Cards and ATM machines

They are common in all tourist towns and cities. Most accept Visa, MasterCard, Electron, Cirrus, Maestro and InterBank cards. ATMs sometimes run dry on weekends in smaller towns. Credit cards are accepted at all hotels some restaurants and often in souks.

What is the average tip for a guide? ›

Typically, the gratuity rate for guides should be around 10 to 20 percent of the total trip cost. That means if you're paying $500 for a day or two of guided rock climbing, an appropriate tip for your guide would be between $50 and $100.

How much should I tip a private guide? › has a Tipping Guide for travelers that further suggests that the tour guide should receive a tip of 10% to 20% of the tour cost. As a last thought, the guide still needs to earn his or her tip. Just with any other profession, the tip should match the level of service.

What is the tip to tip guide? ›

When deciding what to tip at a restaurant, tipping between 15 percent (for average service) and 20 percent (for very good service) is suggested, says Robin DiPietro, Ph. D., professor and program director at the University of South Carolina's College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management.

Do you tip a private guide? ›

Generally, it's appropriate to tip your private guide $10-$15 per day and another $5-$10 for drivers. For large group tours, you'd tip half of that.


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