Banking in Oman

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Updated 2021-07-20 15:12

If you are moving to Oman, opening a local bank account is essential to receive payments such as salaries, and to make local purchases. In Oman, there are both local banks and international banks, so you may find that your current bank has branches in Oman, which will be useful.

Expats should research banks before deciding on a provider, as banks offer varying service fees, interest rates, and savings options. Local banks include the Central Bank of Oman, Bank Muscat, Oman Arab Bank, and Oman International Bank. Foreign banks include Barclays, HSBC, and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi.

Opening a bank account

To open a bank account in Oman, you will need to provide proof of residency first, as only residents can open accounts. You will also need identification, such as your passport, and proof from your new employer which contains your salary details referred to as a No Objection Certificate. Some banks may also require proof of your local address, via your tenancy agreement. In addition to a checking account, consider also opening a saving account, as these can offer better interest rates.

Consider opening a bank account with the same bank as your employer, as this can simplify the procedures. If you are sponsoring your wife or children, they can open their own bank accounts but will first need permission from yourself, as their sponsor.

As long as you have all of the required documentation, opening an account is simple and easy, and should not take more than a half-hour.

Many banks offer services in a range of languages, which can be useful for opening an account and for everyday banking. Most banks also offer online banking.

Good to know:

The unit of currency in Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR). The rial's value is closely linked to the US dollar.

ATMs and bank cards

Once you have opened a bank account, you will be issued a bank card in your name, which will be useful for making local purchases. However, keep in mind that many businesses are cash-only, and do not accept cards as payment. Bank cards can also be used for withdrawing cash from ATMs, which can be found throughout the country. As in most countries, ATMs will charge a fee for withdrawals made from a bank other than your own.

Visa and Mastercard are the most common types of cards, with American Express being less common. Cheques are accepted by some merchants, however, it is a criminal offence to bounce a cheque in Oman, so be very careful and ensure you always have adequate funds being writing a cheque.

Good to know:

Banks are generally open from around 8 am -12 pm, then again from 2:30 pm - 6 pm, from Sundays to Thursdays, and for a half-day in the morning on Fridays from 8 am - 11:30 am. Hours may vary during the month of Ramadan.

Useful links:

Bank Muscat

Central Bank of Oman

Oman Arab Bank

HSBC Oman

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