Oman is a beautiful country in the Middle East, overlooking by most travelers. I spent 2 weeks in Oman and can say from experience: Oman is stunning! Perhaps one of the reasons not many people visit Oman is they are deterred by the Oman travel cost.
You may be wondering: is Oman expensive? The answer to this question isn’t a simple yes or no, but an ‘it depends’. In this Oman travel budget post I’ll share everything you need to know about traveling Oman on a budget.
Oman on a budget
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How expensive is Oman: Oman travel budget
Several people have asked me about the daily travel budget for Oman as there isn’t much information on the internet about the cost to travel Oman.
Since I always (obsessively) keep check of every euro, dollar, dong, rupee, or in this case Omani Rial we spend, I am happy to share our expenses in Oman.
Oman daily travel budget (for a 2-week road trip)
The infographic shows the expenses for accommodation (campsites and hotels), transport (car rental and petrol), food, and the visa charges for a 2-week road trip around Oman.
Oman travel budget: facts and figures
I collaborated with several companies during our Oman trip which reduced our Oman travel costs. Nevertheless, I have done my utmost to calculate a realistic budget for a 2-week road trip in Oman.
I researched the prices of our sponsored hotel stays as well as car rental options and included everything in my calculations to properly answer the question: is Oman expensive to visit?
Oman road trip budget: 4WD or 2WD
I wrote down the costs for 2 road trip scenarios:
- Option 1: hire a 4WD car. I strongly recommend this option because off-road driving in Oman is the best!
- Option 2: hire a 2WD (saloon) car. A saloon car is considerably cheaper, so if you want to visit Oman but have a very strict budget a saloon car would be a very suitable alternative. However, and I want to stress this one more time, off-road driving in Oman is awesome so I highly recommend option 1!
I traveled Oman with my husband and for this budget post also assume you are traveling with a partner. Therefore, all expenses mentioned are the sum of the costs for two people.
I quote prices in €. The Omani Rial (OMR) – Euro exchange rate is approximately 1 OMR = €2,5. However, as the exchange rate varies please check the current rates here.
I spent 3 weeks in Oman but only 2 of those weeks were spent on the road. The other days I was in Muscat and Sohar, without a car. Therefore I excluded those costs from the budget breakdown as the purpose of this post is to give insight into the costs of a 2-week road trip in Oman.
Is Oman expensive to travel?
For option number 1 (with the 4×4 car) you can manage an average daily budget of €123 for a couple.
For option number 2 (with the saloon car) your are looking at an average daily budget of €65 for a couple.
How much does a 2-week road trip in Oman with a 4WD car cost?
How much does a 2-week road trip in Oman with a 2WD car cost?
Oman travel budget: expenses per category
1. Accommodation costs in Oman – free campsites and hotels
A great way to cut the costs of your Oman trip is to go camping. Wild camping is legal and as long as you don’t camp near villages or in wadi beds (risk of flash floods), you can pitch your tent anywhere you want!
During our 2-week self-drive road trip we camped for 11 nights and stayed at hotels for only 3 nights. You can find all the campsites we stayed at (including maps and directions) in this post. We camped for 3 nights in a row, then checked into a hotel for a night to shower and charge our electronics.
During our 3-week Oman trip, we stayed at five hotels in three different budget classes. It’s definitely possible to find a suitable hotel for every budget in Oman. I usually check hotels on Agoda and Booking and book at the site which offers the best price. There are some options available on Airbnb as well (though not in more rural areas).
The hotels we stayed at in Oman can be divided into three categories:
Cheap hotels in Oman (around €50 per night)
- In Muscat we stayed at Mutrah hotel, prices start at €40 per night (we paid €51).
- In Bahla we stayed at Bahla Hotel Apartments, prices start at €40 per night (we paid €45).
- In Sur we stayed at Al Ayjah Plaza Hotel, prices start at €50 per night (I worked with this hotel and received a complimentary stay).
Mid-range hotels in Oman (around €100 per night)
After our road trip we spent a couple of days in Sohar and stayed at the wonderful Radisson Blue hotel, prices start at €100 prices per night (I worked with this hotel and received a complimentary stay).
This was my favorite hotel in Oman, 5-star service but not for a 5-star price. We had a really great time here and I wish we could have stayed longer. But we had to catch our flight to Nepal to hike to Everest Base Camp.
Luxury hotels in Oman (more than €150 per night)
In the Sharqiya Sands we stayed at the Desert Night Camp, prices start at €155 per night including breakfast and dinner (I worked with this hotel and received a complimentary stay).
This is an exclusive hotel in the desert, we stayed at the beautiful tent in the picture below. The tall sand dunes around the camp were breathtaking, really special! We stayed at the Desert Night Camp during our road trip.
In general hotel prices are much lower in summer, when it’s blistering hot in Oman. We visited in March and the temperature was between 25-30 degrees Celsius, pretty much perfect!
Assuming you stay in budget hotels and camp for 3 nights in a row before checking into a hotel you’ll spend €150 on hotels in 14 days, which comes down to an average of €11 per night for accommodation.
2. Car rental and petrol costs in Oman
Car rental in Oman
As mentioned above, you have two options:
- Rent a 4×4 for approximately €80 per day
- Rent a saloon car for approximately €22 per day
We received a complimentary car from Mark Tours, an award-winning and well-known tour operator in Oman (check the Lonely Planet of Oman). The car was a white Nissan Xterra, a kick-ass 4×4 jeep that took us everywhere!
I had not driven a 4WD before, but because it was an automatic transmission car, driving couldn’t have been easier. The dirt roads in Oman are amazing, driving over these adventurous roads for hours without coming across other tourists is what made our trip unforgettable.
That being said, a 4×4 is much more expensive than a saloon car and there are many worthwhile destinations in Oman which can perfectly be reached without a 4×4.
Price of petrol in Oman
Petrol is cheap in Oman, as can be expected from a country which has oil (though not nearly as much as several of its neighbors). We paid 200 baisa per liter, that’s just €0,50! In the Netherlands the price for petrol is at least 3 times higher so for us this was a pleasant surprise.
Obviously, the amount you’ll spend on fuel depends on how many kilometers you’ll drive but if you follow our itinerary you’re looking at €10 per day for fuel. In 2 weeks, we drove approximately 2750 kilometers, so ~200 km per day.
3. Costs of food in Oman
Food is not expensive in Oman, in fact, it’s very cheap! Even the smallest villages usually have a coffee shop. And in Oman a coffee shop means food.
These little restaurants are mostly run by people from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan and sell delicious dosas, curries, biryani, rice and more.
Besides the great food in the coffee shops, there are also excellent supermarkets in Oman. In the bigger cities, you’ll find LuLu and Carrefour hypermarkets, in smaller towns there are local supermarkets which I found surprisingly well stocked!
Average prices for food items in Oman
- Water (6*2 liter) ⇒900 baisa / €2,25
- Coffee ⇒ 200 baisa / €0,50
- Fruit juice ⇒ 500 baisa – 1 OMR / €1,25 – €2,50
- Lunch/dinner ⇒ 500 baisa – 1,5 OMR / €1,25 – €4
- 4-pack of flatbread in the supermarket ⇒ 100 baisa / €0,25
What helped to cut the costs for food even more is that we often made our own breakfast. Many days we camped in the middle of nowhere and there were no coffee shops around (or opened yet, as we usually woke up at the crack of dawn?).
We had a compact stove, gas and a small pan to boil water. We used the hot water to make tea, coffee, porridge and noodle soup, very convenient! On average, we spent €15 per day on food.
4. Visa costs for Oman
In my Hatta border post, you can read more about our border crossing experience but long story short: a 10-day visa for Oman costs 5 OMR / €12,50 and a 1 month visa for Oman costs 20 OMR / €50.
Assuming you’ll spend 14 days in the country and therefore need to buy a 1 month visa of 20 OMR per person your average daily visa costs are approximately €7.
5. Cost of activities in Oman
The road trip itself was our main activity but other than that we did several hikes (free) and visited two historic forts (in Nakhal and Bahla).
The entrance fee for both forts was 500 baisa / €1,25 per person. I left this out of the calculations as it’s so little it doesn’t really have an influence on the daily travel budget.
Oman cost of travel: in conclusion
Now we have all the information to answer the question ‘is Oman cheap or (very)? expensive’?
Adding the costs for accommodation, car rental, petrol, food and visa together this brings the average daily travel budget for the 4×4 (option 1) to €123 and the average daily budget for the saloon car (option 2) to €65 (for a couple).
You can download the budget breakdown infographic below. Feel free to ask any questions by leaving a comment or send me an email!
What do you think of this Oman budget? Is it more or less than you expected?
This post was updated in September 2020.