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Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

Old May 30th 2009, 6:58 pm
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Default Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

Hi Folks,

I am new on the board, hoping you don't mind me dropping in.

Can anyone here compare cost of living in Dubai with Muscat?

I have been made an offer in Oman with a monthly base salary of OR 3,200 - that is Dh 9,000 less than what I am paid in Dubai. This is all-in, up to me to fund schooling, flights for family etc.

I am an expat engineer, married with two children: aged 3 years and 1 year.

The accommodation allowance of Dh 15,000 per month we are paid here in Dubai covers the rent on a villa, utility bills and housing fees. I have been offered an allowance of OR 1,000 per month for Muscat – this looks OK?.

Medical cover appears to be the same.

I have searched the forum. I read comments that the cost of living is far cheaper in Oman than UAE – but aside from accommodation, it all seems to be on a par (schooling, medical, groceries, alcohol, eating-out etc) – Can anyone confirm or refute this?

From our research (and visits of the past ten years), we are attracted by what Muscat has to offer us as a family over Dubai, we also quite fancy the change. Can anyone suggest whether it is worth the pay cut in that the cost of living is that much less? We are saving money here, but are getting itchy feet and are considering options to get out of Dodge.

Cheers,
Ginger
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Old May 30th 2009, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

Do you mind me asking: what kind of engineer / years of experience?
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Old May 30th 2009, 8:20 pm
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Default Re: Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

Originally Posted by ginger75 View Post
Hi Folks,

I am new on the board, hoping you don't mind me dropping in.

Can anyone here compare cost of living in Dubai with Muscat?

I have been made an offer in Oman with a monthly base salary of OR 3,200 - that is Dh 9,000 less than what I am paid in Dubai. This is all-in, up to me to fund schooling, flights for family etc.

I am an expat engineer, married with two children: aged 3 years and 1 year.

The accommodation allowance of Dh 15,000 per month we are paid here in Dubai covers the rent on a villa, utility bills and housing fees. I have been offered an allowance of OR 1,000 per month for Muscat – this looks OK?.

Medical cover appears to be the same.

I have searched the forum. I read comments that the cost of living is far cheaper in Oman than UAE – but aside from accommodation, it all seems to be on a par (schooling, medical, groceries, alcohol, eating-out etc) – Can anyone confirm or refute this?

From our research (and visits of the past ten years), we are attracted by what Muscat has to offer us as a family over Dubai, we also quite fancy the change. Can anyone suggest whether it is worth the pay cut in that the cost of living is that much less? We are saving money here, but are getting itchy feet and are considering options to get out of Dodge.

Cheers,
Ginger
The one concern I would have is schooling...

Your kids being 3 and 1 may not pose a problem now but, once the Muscat spell has enthralled you, you may have problems in the next 2 - 3 years. I'd plan ahead if I were you...
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Old May 31st 2009, 4:55 am
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Default Re: Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

I don't think it is enough. Muscat is just as expensive as Dubai and you need to remember they haven't had the crash in property prices that Dubai has.
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Old May 31st 2009, 6:21 am
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Default Re: Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

Thanks for your opinions. You confirm my thoughts - Costwise, Muscat is perhaps on a par with Dubai.

I am a Civil Engineer (infrastructure), I am a specialist in what I do, and in demand. 13 years total experience. I think I do well here in Dubai for my age and years of experience. My wife hasn't yet gone back to work (one of the advantages of being here is that we have been able to afford for her not to, and instead she can concentrate on the children).

It is primarily the schooling that we are scared of here in Dubai - nursery fees are Dh 8,100 per term from Sep so can stomach this at the moment. Thinking ahead, we are really on the look out for a package with schooling, but my understanding is that just about all of the Consulting Engineering firms have cut this out now giving a lump-sum monthly salary to sort yourself out with "everything". Essentially unaccompanied basis, but they provide visas for family and the most basic medical they can get away with (selected clinics only or % reimbursement for others, no dental). Not even flights for family.

My firm have tried to balance this for key staff by paying more. This of course looks like you are earning a footballer's wage, but you find that you are simply haemorraging money every month and have to be very strict to make the books balance, let alone save!!!

We like our life here, and are not down on Dubai!
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Old May 31st 2009, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

In principle I would not accept anything which is in any way inferior to what I have at the moment. So for AED 9000 less there - because it's cheaper / nicer / friendlier etc. is a NO-NO situation. Of course if you're desperate it's all different - but you're not.

The fact that you're happy here is a great negotiating advantage and makes it easy to say 'NO'. I always look for a new job when I am happy with the exisiting one; when you're desperate everyone will screw you.

I was in Oman back in 1997-1999 and my package was OR 1,850.00 per month plus school and accommodation with paid utilities (other than telephone) and usual expat benefits - and it wasn't a 'great' package.

I'd say that salary is good if they pay accommodation allowance (example like Madinat Kaboos 3-4 bedroom villa) school for up to 3 children.
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Old May 31st 2009, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

Thanks Diablo,

I have come to the same opinion, would be much better if it was +schooling, but even then it just doesn't quite match-up.

Thanks for your input.

BR, G.
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Old Jun 4th 2009, 10:33 am
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Default Re: Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

The cost of housing here in Muscat has actually come down in price, your 1000 OMR housing allowance per month would get you a nice 4 bed villa or a nice 3 bed flat with change to spare.
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Old Jun 5th 2009, 6:08 pm
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Default Re: Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

Originally Posted by Just Browsing View Post
The cost of housing here in Muscat has actually come down in price, your 1000 OMR housing allowance per month would get you a nice 4 bed villa or a nice 3 bed flat with change to spare.
no - I would say it wouldnt. Yes, if you are willing to live in the sticks with an hour's commute. If you want to live near to the schools you are paying 1200-1400 OMR for a 4 bed villa. Google Cluttons for approx costs per location.MSQ (Medinat Sultan Qaboos) is around 1900 OMR for a 4 bed villa, 1400 for a 3 bed villa, and about 1000 for a flat.

Depends where your office is.

I have a 3yr old and a 2 yr old. Nursery fees are 100 OMR per 1/2 day per term per child.

Primary school fees look like they will be around 800 OMR per term.

No package here in Muscat covers dental - everyone pays privately.

Erm - Civil Engineer - if the company is called Ghalfar, watch out.... ..... there's a reason there are vacancies...... a lot of folks are finding the salary too low.

Buying stuff in the shops is about 10% cheaper than Dubai

Flights back to UK around 250-300 OMR per person return (33 OMR for Oman Air is a joke as you need to add 220 OMR for "surcharges".....)

all in all I would say that for 3200 OMR per month all in you wont have much spare change unless you scrimp on your lifestyle, housing, schooling, flights, drinks etc which isnt much fun.

as a comparison, I get paid 2800 OMR per month exclusive of flights (for the four of us), medical, schooling, housing, utility bills
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Old Jun 5th 2009, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

Originally Posted by OriginalSunshine View Post
no - I would say it wouldnt. Yes, if you are willing to live in the sticks with an hour's commute. If you want to live near to the schools you are paying 1200-1400 OMR for a 4 bed villa. Google Cluttons for approx costs per location.MSQ (Medinat Sultan Qaboos) is around 1900 OMR for a 4 bed villa, 1400 for a 3 bed villa, and about 1000 for a flat.

Depends where your office is.

I have a 3yr old and a 2 yr old. Nursery fees are 100 OMR per 1/2 day per term per child.

Primary school fees look like they will be around 800 OMR per term.

No package here in Muscat covers dental - everyone pays privately.

Erm - Civil Engineer - if the company is called Ghalfar, watch out.... ..... there's a reason there are vacancies...... a lot of folks are finding the salary too low.

Buying stuff in the shops is about 10% cheaper than Dubai

Flights back to UK around 250-300 OMR per person return (33 OMR for Oman Air is a joke as you need to add 220 OMR for "surcharges".....)

all in all I would say that for 3200 OMR per month all in you wont have much spare change unless you scrimp on your lifestyle, housing, schooling, flights, drinks etc which isnt much fun.

as a comparison, I get paid 2800 OMR per month exclusive of flights (for the four of us), medical, schooling, housing, utility bills
LOL! Cluttons!!! Hamptons!!! Why would you even use these people? You may as well scream I'm a rich expat, take me for a ride!

The house I am living in right now was on with Cluttons for 1700 OMR, I got it through a different agent who was marketing the place for 1400 OMR but we settled on 1150, apparently the landlord wanted around 1200 OMR. It really is a renters market right now - there are over 200 places up for rent (or near completion) on the Wave with little interest.

The local, smaller firms are much better value. Try Taif for instance....

PS regards flights, your employer has to give you at least one return trip home per year as per Omani Labour law, though it depends how many times you want to go home of course.....
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Old Jun 6th 2009, 5:23 am
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Default Re: Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

Originally Posted by Just Browsing View Post
LOL! Cluttons!!! Hamptons!!! Why would you even use these people? You may as well scream I'm a rich expat, take me for a ride!

The house I am living in right now was on with Cluttons for 1700 OMR, I got it through a different agent who was marketing the place for 1400 OMR but we settled on 1150, apparently the landlord wanted around 1200 OMR. It really is a renters market right now - there are over 200 places up for rent (or near completion) on the Wave with little interest.

The local, smaller firms are much better value. Try Taif for instance....

PS regards flights, your employer has to give you at least one return trip home per year as per Omani Labour law, though it depends how many times you want to go home of course.....
yeah but Taif doesnt have a website (or didnt when I was looking)
anyway - my company sorted my accommodation for me

and there's a reason no-one wants to live in the Wave
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Old Jun 6th 2009, 6:30 am
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Default Re: Move to Muscat from Dubai - Cheaper?How?

If you are seriously doubting whether you can survive in a developing country on GBP8,000 per month then you need to seriously adjust your expectations.
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