Oman

Oman

Population 5.4 million
Area 309,501 km sq
Timezone GMT +4
Language Arabic
The Sultanate of Oman is a stable, politically neutral nation, lying strategically on the Eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, at the gateway to the Gulf. Culturally distinct from some other countries in the region, there is a gentle, virtually crime free environment with expats making up some 30% of the 5.3million or so population (NCSI – National Centre for Statistics and Information).
Around three quarters of the population live around the two main cities, Muscat and Salalah. Since 2020, HM Sultan Haitham bin Tarik Al Said has been leading the country with a policy looking at diversification away from economic reliance on oil and gas, and greater integration of Omanis into the private sector. The real estate sector is included in this vision, opening up to foreign ownership in order to help attract companies, investors and workers.

Traditionally, you need a local sponsor to live and work in Oman. But now, there is a Foreign Capital Investment scheme where 100% foreign ownership is permitted for qualifying industry sectors. Also, foreigners can buy and own property more widely, not just in the traditionally more expensive but popular Integrated Tourism Complexes (ITCs) – and you can also invest in property to gain residency, ‘Investment Residency Program’ scheme. Fees, terms & conditions apply. This was launched by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion (MCIIP) and applies to property (or properties) when sold, the residency permit is removed.
There are some restricted areas, but under the scheme an investment of Omani Riyals 250,000 (roughly £572,500) to OMR499,999 in residential property a five-year residency permit can be given. Over OMR500,000 there is the opportunity to gain a 10-year permit. Below OMR250,000, only purchases in ITCs are allowed, which may give some residency rights, extending to families.

The amenities and build quality of the ITCs have proved popular with locals too. Top locations include Al Mouj (The Wave), Muscat Hills and Muscat Bay. Apartments, duplex, townhouses and villas are available.
Get legal advice if you are considering Oman, especially for rental investment. Certain property is sold freehold. Others with Usufruct rights, similar to leasehold giving right to use and earn income from a property for a limited period. Since, 2020 there was a new resolution extending Usufruct rights to resident expats, allowing them to purchase property to live in, rent out (after an initial period of four years) or use as collateral for finances for a period of time. Typically 50 years, with option to extend up to 99 years. Typically this applies to licensed developments. Terms & conditions apply.

Since 2020 there has been a drop in the number of expats in Oman, resulting in an oversupply of property in the market, in particular for rentals and a lowering of prices since they peaked in 2014. You are advised to do your own checks, as with any of our destinations.
The connectivity, infrastructure including good private healthcare, sunshine expat lifestyle, more affordable than some capitals in western Europe, make Oman a retirement option. The authorities are keen to build the economy and tourism, and this includes encouraging longer stays in Oman.

In addition to the Investment visa scheme options, expat workers in Oman over 60 years of age and their dependents may be eligible for a retirement five year renewable residency visa, with proof of work in Oman within two years of application with an Omani bank account and monthly income of at least OMR4,000 (over £9,000).
The Omani Riyal is pegged to the US$, as are other countries in the region. There is no personal income tax, wealth or Capital Gains tax, but a relatively low personal income tax is under review. Buying costs are low, with a Ministry Housing tax at 3% of purchase price. Check other taxes and charges with a specialist in advance.

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