Oman - Money & Costs
Money & Costs in OmanCurrency: Omani Rial
Costs in Oman fall mainly into the budget and top-end categories; there's next to nothing in the middle. Those wishing to travel comfortably can expect to shell out for the ritzier hotels and eat sumptuously for relatively little; budget US$150-200 a day or more. Travellers who want to spend moderately will have a hard time of it. Good food can be very inexpensive, but accommodation is either cheap and unappealing or good but expensive; expect to spend at least US$100-120 a day if you stay in a decent place. Budget travellers who don't mind cramped, somewhat dingy accommodation can make up for it with lots of excellent, inexpensive food, though they're still likely to spend at least US$50 a day. Beds and swanky eateries aside, domestic travel and food are very cheap and admission to museums, forts and other places of interest is generally free.
Banks and moneychangers will change cash and travellers' cheques. ATMs are widespread, though few of them appear to be tied into international systems.
Tipping is not expected in cheaper eating places while more expensive restaurants tend to add a 10-15% service charge to all bills - which goes to the house and not the staff. There's a 15% hotel tax. Most prices are fixed, meaning the only things you can expect to haggle over will be souvenirs in the souk (bazaar). Even in the souk, however, bargaining can be a frustrating experience. Shopkeepers tend to offer a small discount on the marked price and then refuse to budge. If you try to bargain for the cost of a taxi, you will inevitably pay two or three times what you ought to.