Some 8 years ago, I accepted an offer to relocate to Oman with a company and had asked about rental costs. Back then, there was no information available on the internet really, other than stuff on the Oman Forum (which has died now) and the book Oman Residents guide, which I found in a book store in Toronto and read cover to cover.
My future boss (and not my boss any more) straight up lied to me. He told me I could get a Villa in MQ for RO 350 a month. I don't know if any of you remember, but when I landed here in Summer 2007, the demand for rental accommodation was HUGE, and my salary was based on rental costs of RO 350 a month. I eventually found an apartment in Ghubra for RO 500 a month and thought I was lucky at that.
People were paying over RO 1,000 for a bungalow in MQ in those days (and still are in many cases), so I wondered how things have changed over the years. So, now here we are in February 2015 and there's been an awful lot of rental properties dumped onto the market. Here's a quick look at what RO 1,000 can get you today:
1. A 3 bedroom apartment at Dolphin Village.
This property I found on the Cluttons website, and the apartment is RO 975 a month. It gets you access to the club facilities (pool, gym, bar, etc) as well.
2. A 2 bedroom furnished apartment at Muscat Hills.
This one is on the Savills website, and is a fully furnished apartment at the golf course community that is Muscat Hills - right across from the airport in Seeb. Again this comes with access to community facilities - RO 1,000.
3. A 4 bedroom detached villa in Al Ansab.
This one is from the Better Homes website, and is a fully furnished 4 bedroom villa out in Ansab. Fairly typical 'burbs villa for Muscat, except that it's rare that it's furnished.
4. A 2 bedroom townhouse at The Wave.
These are the smallest Town Houses available at The Wave and it's from the Hamptons website, and you can rent it for RO 1,000 a month. There's a private beach and a small retail (mostly restaurants) area called The Walk for you to enjoy, along with a Spinney's branded supermarket.
5. A 6 bedroom villa in Al Hail South.
The further out from town you go, the cheaper houses get, that's the usual rule of thumb right? This one is from the Gulf Property World website and is your fairly typical over-sized sand castle to be found in the suburbs. It'll probably be a few years old, perhaps with only one tenant in it before.
6. A brand new 5 bedroom twin-villa in Azaiba/Athaibah/Udhaiba (why can't we just have one spelling)?
7. A fully furnished 3 bedroom apartment at MGM in Ghubra.
This ones is from the Dubizzle website which is a very good resource for finding all sorts of things locally here in Muscat (and further afield too). From the looks of the pictures the furniture is all brand new too.
Well, there you have it, RO 1,000 gets you everything from a 2 bedroom apartment to a 6 bedroom Villa in the City, depending on where you want to live! An awful lot of money I'd say.... if your reading this because you're new to Muscat and are looking for a place to rent - always remember that things can be negotiated - for example, the house I live in was on the market for RO 1,150 a month, we got it for RO 900 a month.
Just for a bit of comparison, RO 1,000 gets you a 10 bedroom monster in Salalah, and RO 200 can get you a 3 bedroom brand new apartment in Salalah.