‘Unfurnished’ might mean only the barest of essentials but is more likely to include a kitchen unit, curtain rails and lighting fixtures. It could also mean semi-furnished, with kitchen equipment, a cooker, refrigerator and washing machine. In most cases, furnished apartments include a television aerial socket with access to local stations and probably BBC and CNN via satellite. You might also have access to other networks and movie channels, although you might have to pay for them. There’s also fully furnished property on the market, but it is harder to find and of course is more expensive.
Finding a Rental Property
Renting accommodation in Oman is a straightforward, well-established practice. Major international companies with trading links in the region often fund long-term leases on properties for their staff. If you have to find your own accommodation, your sponsor and his staff will invariably help. There’s considerable variety in all price bands, so it´s usually possible, if not easy, to find the exact kind of property you want.
Once you settle on a budget, you need to decide on the location of the property, weighing the importance of access to your place of work. Oman’s cities are small by international standards and driving times between home and work are short, usually without substantial traffic jams.
There are a number of ways to find a rental property in Oman. You should try the following:
- Consult your company’s human resources manager - but don´t forget your work colleagues and friends. News of the best properties usually travels by word-of-mouth.
- Talk to members of any clubs and associations that you join.
- Check the notice boards outside accommodation blocks and look in the local English-language newspapers and magazines. Talk to porters or administration staff in the buildings that you like the look of. They will often know about vacancies.
- Consult estate agents. As well as providing knowledge of the market, area and costs, they generally will provide transport and accompany you on viewings. Estate agents are frequently the wives of sponsored expatriates who have the time to get to know residential areas and their respective facilities.
- Visit the management offices of both compounds and apartment blocks. Building or compound managers should have information on available properties.