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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Muscat: Friendly Locals, Affordable Housing

Oman’s capital makes it easy to get started and to feel welcome. But are there also downsides to life in Muscat?

Muscat places 10th out of 49 in the Expat City Ranking 2023. Its best performance is in the Expat Essentials Index (2nd), where it excels in the Admin Topics Subcategory (10th): 76% of expats in Muscat say it’s easy to open a bank account (vs. 62% globally), while about half (51%) find it easy to deal with the local bureaucracy (vs. 39% globally).

In the Housing Subcategory, it even ranks 2nd. Expats consider housing both affordable (6th) and easy to find (1st). Muscat also places 2nd in the Language Subcategory. Expats say they can easily live there without speaking the official language(s) (4th).

Muscat ranks midfield in the Quality of Life Index (29th), though. Public transportation isn’t easily available (47th), even if expats are very pleased with the road network (93% happy vs. 75% globally). The air quality is also very good (10th), and expats feel the government is making a real effort to support the policies that protect the environment (4th). While rating their personal safety very highly (3rd), expats are quite disappointed in Muscat’s Leisure Options (43rd).

The Ease of Settling In Index, on the other hand, is another area the city does especially well in (7th). Expats are particularly happy with the Local Friendliness (3rd), and how easy it is to find new friends (9th). What’s more, 80% of expats feel welcome in the city (vs. 67% globally). Overall, 71% of expats are happy with their life in Muscat, compared to 72% globally.

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