Whether visiting Oman for a diving trip or to conduct business, travelers must be aware of how money, exchange, and currency regulations work in the country.
Upon entering the country, visitors will need to exchange some currency in order to be able to cover their expenses during their stay.
Currency in Oman
The official currency in Oman is known as the Omani rial —abbreviated ORM, OR, or RO. One rial is divided into 1000 baisas —sometimes spelled baizas, and often abbreviated as bz. Omani currency can be found in bills or notes, as well as in coins.
The Omani rial is the third-highest-valued currency unit in the world —after the Kuwaiti dinar and the Bahraini dinar.
Although credit cards are widely accepted in Oman, foreign nationals may want to get familiar with the currency as well, for purchases they may need to pay for in cash.
Coins currently in circulation in Oman have the following value:
- 5 baisas
- 10 baisas
- 25 baisas
- 50 baisas
- 100 baisas *
- 1⁄4 rial *
- 1⁄2 rial *
* Please note that as of May 20th, 2020, Omani coins with the value of 100 baisas and above —namely 1⁄4 rial and 1⁄2 rial— will lose their monetary value since they are scheduled to be canceled by the Central Bank of Oman.
Bills or Banknotes of Oman
Banknotes currently in circulation in Oman of the following value are available:
- 100 baisas
- 200 baisas
- 1⁄2 rial
- 1 rial
- 5 rials
- 10 rials
- 20 rials
- 50 rials
Please note that all Omani banknotes issued before November 1st, 1995 became invalid after 30 July 2019. Banknotes for 5 to 50 rials issued on that date without foil strips also lost their monetary value.
Omani banknotes from 5 to 50 rial issued in 1995 with foil strips, released into circulation from 2000, do maintain their monetary value.
Exchanging Currency in Oman
In 1986 the exchange rate for Omani rials was fixed to 1 Omani rial = US$2.6008, which roughly equals about US$1 per 0.384497 rials.
The Central Bank of Oman buys US dollars at 0.384 Omani rials and sells US currency at 0.385 OMR per USD.
Bank hours in Oman are Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 1 PM, and 2 PM to 6 PM. Bank opening hours are reduced during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
During this time of year —the exact dates for Ramadan vary from year to year, so check before your trip— banks are typically open Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 1 PM.
Moneychangers follow similar hours to Omani banks. However, they are often open from 4 PM to 7 PM as well, rather than closing at 6 PM. Do check moneychangers working hours should your trip to Oman coincide with Ramadan.
Money exchange bureaus usually offer a slightly more advantageous rate than Omani banks, and most charge a minimal commission for each cash transaction.
The rial of Oman is pegged to the US dollar and, therefore, its value rarely fluctuates. Remember to check current exchange rates before your trip, in case some minor change has occurred.
Here are some estimated exchange rates for a few major world currencies against the Omani rial:
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Money and Credit Card Use When Visiting Oman
Credit cards are widely accepted in Oman. the most popular credit card in Oman is Visa, but MasterCard is also accepted in many establishments.
American Express may be accepted in a small number of shops, restaurants, and hotels. However, Amex payments are usually surcharged with an additional 5% fee.
Automated Teller Machine —or ATMs— are easy to find across the entire Sultanate of Oman, including smaller towns.
Travel Expenses and Tipping Customs in Oman
Travel costs when touring Oman may vary according to the visitor’s budget.
Tourists on a tight budget can expect to spend around 50 Omani rials for a shared room in an economical guesthouse, street food, and public transportation.
A double room in a mid-range hotel is usually around OR70, while higher-end accommodation such as a suite in a five-star hotel or resort can cost about OR130.
A restaurant meal ranges between OR15 for local food, and OR30 for an international buffet lunch or dinner.
A taxi ride in a metered taxi is usually around OR10, while car-rental fees range between OR20 for a saloon car, and OR60 for a 4-wheel-drive vehicle.
Tipping is not customary in Oman, although an OR1 tip for baggage handling and room service is appreciated. A 10% tip is expected in hotel restaurants when service fees are not included in the bill.
Bargaining and haggling for taxi fairs and souvenirs is quite common and may result in small discounts.
Omani Currency Regulations
It is important to get familiar with Omani currency import regulations when arriving to the country.
Currency import and export regulations in Oman are as follows:
- Local currency (Rial Omani-OMR), foreign currencies, precious metals/stones or Bearer Negotiable Instruments (BNI) with a value of up to OMR 6,000 are not subject to restrictions
- Goods with a value equivalent or exceeding OMR 6,000 must be declared
- The Israeli currency is prohibited in Oman
Airport Taxes of OMR 5 have to be covered upon departure from Oman when not included in ticket issuance payment. Children under 2 years of age are exempt from paying airport taxes in Oman.
Additional Advice When Preparing to Visit Oman
Before heading to this beautiful Arab nation, international tourists should go over the travel and entry requirements for Oman.
It is necessary to carry a valid passport upon arrival as well as an Omani tourist visa —this includes minors. Citizens from 71 countries are eligible to apply for an Oman eVisa online —find out if you qualify.
Foreign nationals planning a trip to Oman must also get familiar with the Omani dress code for international visitors. Do women have to wear a hijab in Oman? Find out in our quick guide.
Travelers visiting for the first time may also want to read our advice on safety and security in Oman.