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Muscat



How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Most things you can think of are available- chicken, beef, lamb(there is even "pork rooms" in some of the grocery stores but pork is extremely expensive $20 for a pack of bacon for example, but it is available); cheese (parmesan, cheddar, feta, cottage, cream). Some American brands of food are available but can be pricey (Fritos chips; Bob's Red Mill Oats; Hershey's chocolate and chips; Brownie and Pancake mixes and maple syrup; Tex-Mex stuff like taco seasoning; tortillas, salsa etc are all available but are higher priced). There is barely any organic food, so you can scratch that off your list. There is a lot of locally grown fruits and veggies, which are very cheap but not always the greatest flavor and quality. You have to follow what is in season and buy that cheaply. There are many imported fruits and veggies, but again very pricey (e.g. sweet potatoes imported from the USA- about 4 OMR/bag= $12) Around Thanksgiving there are whole frozen turkeys available for around $6/pound) and around Christmas there is ham in the "pork room" which will easily set you back $120. If you eat the food that locals eat it can be very cheap (meats, curries, a lot of rice). Grocery stores are always well stocked. Rarely have some items disappeared off the shelves for a couple of weeks, but then were back on. - Aug 28, 2017
Things tend to be a bit pricey. Everything is imported so that keeps prices higher. On the bright side, just about everything is available, if you search and pay the imported price. - Oct 25, 2014
Groceries are generally more costly than Washington D.C., but local preferences can be truly affordable. Regional produce in season and fish are the budget buys. American and British products are widely available, but tend to be costly. - Jun 7, 2012
Everything is available here, but at a cost. It would almost be better if all these western products aren't here, because then I would not be tempted to buy them at triple the cost. The same raspberries that come from Watsonville, CA that you would buy at a US grocery store are available here, but they cost $12. Peanut butter, pop tarts, US cereals, cool whip all are available here, you just pay for it. - May 3, 2012
Expensive...COLA does not cover it. But the $1.13 a gallon for gas makes up for it. - Aug 25, 2011
You can get just about anything you want for a price. - Feb 20, 2011
Groceries cost a fortune! Not triple, but like 9-10 times more expensive. If you can learn to use some of the GCC products that is better. But to be honest, even that is expensive in Oman, because most isn't produced there. Get local checken. They do a great job trimming it up and it can be found in every grocery store. Most of the time you will find yourself jumping from store to store just to get the normal stuff on your list. It takes a lot of time and energy and can be tiring especially in the heat. - Apr 1, 2010
Another big disagreement with the last poster. Not sure where they shopped at but all the stores we shopped, groceries were sometimes 5 and 10 times as expensive compared to the States. Local produce if it wasn't damaged or had gone bad could be purchased a little cheaper but not by much. For example U.S. saltine crackers 9 bucks a box, U.S. Ice Cream more than that around 12 dollars, cheeses anywhere from 5 to 8 dollars for a small slab. Cleaning products, ouch!You could get another brand maybe from the GCC area but it did not do anywhere near what a U.S. or EUR cleaning product did. So you would end up using more of it and have your house smell like a hospital while leaving a film behind. - Feb 12, 2010
Overall, I found it a bit cheaper than in the U.S., but that's because we were willing to buy "local" products (Gulf countries, KSA, India), which are vastly cheaper than U.S. or European imports and usually equally good (many are local knock-offs of U.S. brands).Note:Pork is extremely expensive -- I spent $40 on a tenderloin for four at the only supermarket to carry it. Other than British bacon, which is surprisingly inexpensive, be prepared to go pork-less unless you really want to spend those crazy prices ($75 for a package of six pork chops?!).Alcohol is reasonable if you buy from the Muscat Embassy Association duty-free (the best way to do it).You MUST explore Omani dates; you never knew there were so many different types, and you've never tasted fresh date right off the tree. - Jan 21, 2010
Groceries are expensive unless you buy local and in season. You can get just about anything that you need/want here; but it's not guaranteed to be in stock when you need so plan accordingly. Lulus is the biggest and cheapest hypermarket; great selection of fruits, veggies, and meats -- there is a high demand (i.e. ridiculously overcrowded during peak Omani shopping hours (4pm - midnight) and food is fresher due to large turnover of produce. Lulus caters to Omani, Indian, Sri Lankan, Malaysian, Philippine shopper. There are now two Carefours adding their competition to this pool. The Sultan Center will give you American goods at super inflated prices (Blue Bell Ice-Cream US$20 half/gallon; Nilla Waffers and other crackers US$9/box...) Sometimes great bargains can be found and it is excellent for finding that ingredient that you can't get anywhere else. AlFair stores are throughout Muscat and are the most expensive, but will cater to a more European tastes: spectacular fresh baked breads, yogurts... - Mar 19, 2009
Expensive and getting more so. While one can find anything, inflation and a weak dollar (to which the Omani Rial is pegged) means that a basic weekly shopping for a couple rarely comes in under US$100, especially if you rely on U.S./European brands and imported as opposed to local (not generally as nice-looking and more limited in selection) fruit and veg. Most everything is available - except for alcohol-based staples such as vanilla, wine vinegar, and the like. Alcohol is available to Embassy personnel and to non-Muslim expats whose employers will secure for them the necessary individual liquor license. It is expensive, and selection, especially of wine, can be limited. - Feb 18, 2008