Muscat - Post Report Question and Answers

What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?

If you are into camping and all, bring a 4x4. Otherwise, a sedan is just fine. - Jan 2022

This depends on how much adventuring you plan to do. If you don't plan on exploring (or doing anything truly fun), a sedan is fine. But if you want to explore all the amazing places Oman has to offer, bring a 4x4. Just don't try to import a vehicle with tinted windows! In an ideal world, we would have brought a Nissan Xterra or 4-door Jeep Wrangler to Oman. - Dec 2018

American models are difficult to find parts for. If you only plan to ever drive in the city you don't need anything special. If you want to go out into the desert or the wadis I suggest something with 4WD and high clearance. The Mitsubishi Pajero is the most common vehicle here. I haven't heard of anyone's car being broken into. This country is super safe. But overall I'd say an all-around vehicle with 4WD would be your best bet. And it will get dinged up here. Omanis don't seem to care about external car care - they will throw their door into your car without a second thought and keep on walking. - Feb 2018

Any car will do. There is a lot of exploring and camping out of the city and off-roading in the desert, so you could definitely benefit from having a 4-wheel drive. Otherwise roads in the city are great, so you don't need a high clearance vehicle for daily use. - Aug 2017

Any type of vehicle, even American makes are fine here. The roads are well maintained and maintenance is easy to find. If you would like to do some of the more outdoorsy stuff, a 4-wheel drive is the way to go. There are always cars for sale, so no need to bring with you necessarily. - Oct 2014

Roads are great here and most brands have a dealership, so really anything goes. That said, off-roading is a blast here and there appears to be quite a love for Jeep Wranglers (though I'd get something with better A/C. One word of caution... Omani drivers go FAST outside of town, so the collisions tend to be very serious. - Jun 2012

The standard FS cars like Honda and Toyota are fine. Or a regular car. Unless you have something completely exotic, you would be fine here. - May 2012

Foreign is better, but if it is a minor fix, then there are plenty of mechanics around. - Aug 2011

A 4 x 4 is recommended. Gas is cheap, and the if you want to go beach camping or dune bashing, that is the only way to go. THere are restrictions on imported vehicles with tinted windows. No carjackings to my knowledge. - Feb 2011

I liked having a big was definitely needed. I wouldn't do anything smaller if you can afford it. - Apr 2010

Again, I disagree with the last poster. There are tons of SUVs here and many were not just driven by expats. Omanis love their cars like we do in the States and will drive the biggest and baddest while living in tiny apartments. You'll see 3 or 5 cars in a driveway from a huge hummer to the fancy new BMW.Local prices are not great, some folks have gotten deals so can't really generalize across the board and say deals cannot be found. One coworker purchased a 15 year old SUV for nothing but it looked pretty bad. He wanted it to just to go to and from work and maybe a little dune bashing. Again though if you buy local many folks drive their car/truck/suv into the ground with little regard to preventive maintenance. Plenty of dealers about Ford, GMC, Jeep, Toyota and many can work on a U.S. spec. vehicle but you'll be the last in line as locals walk in front of you or wait till you leave and make the TCN push their car in front of yours. - Feb 2010

Only expats drive SUVs. Omanis drive only the latest model luxury cars. I suggest an SUV, even if it instantly marks you as an expat, because once you leave Muscat, some of the funnest stuff -- hiking, camping -- might require a bit of off-road driving. Parts/service are very expensive, however; I suggest locating your favorite Indian-run garage in Wadi al-Kabir. Using the official dealerships could cost you an arm and a leg, so get an estimate first. Omanis tend not to repair their cars; if they break down, they sell them to Indians or expats and buy new ones. - Jan 2010

Everything is here. Toyota is biggest in dealerships. If you want to go off road regularly, bring a real 4 wheeler. You can rent one as well for the occasional weekend trip. Bring the parts for your car; here everything is expensive. - Mar 2009

The most popular brand, by a longshot, is Toyota, and many people like have an SUV/4 wheel both for desert/long-distance driving domestically and for more comfortable trips (4-6 hours) to the UAE.There are strict laws regarding window-tinting, so check before bringing in a vehicle from overseas. Given the Omani love of Jaguar, Benz, Hummer, and other luxury brands, it's easiest not to even try and compete! - Feb 2008


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