Oman is a rapidly growing economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with a strong banking sector that has seen substantial growth over the past few years. In this article, we will answer some common questions regarding banking in Oman.
Main local banks in Oman and their contact details
The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) is the regulator of the banking industry in Oman. There are several local and international banks operating in Oman. Some of the main local banks in Oman are:
- Bank Muscat – https://www.bankmuscat.com/
- National Bank of Oman – https://www.nbo.om/
- Oman Arab Bank – https://www.oman-arabbank.com/
- Bank Dhofar – https://www.bankdhofar.com/
Presence of UK and USA banks in Oman
Major UK and USA banks have a limited presence in Oman. Some of the international banks operating in Oman are:
- HSBC – https://www.hsbc.co.om/
- Standard Chartered – https://www.sc.com/om/
- Citibank – https://www.citibank.com/oman/homepage/english/
Accounts and services specifically aimed at expats
Many banks in Oman offer accounts and services specifically aimed at expats. These accounts often come with features such as no minimum balance requirements, free international money transfers, and multi-currency accounts. Some of the banks that offer such accounts are:
- Bank Muscat – https://www.bankmuscat.com/en/pages/personal-banking.aspx
- National Bank of Oman – https://www.nbo.om/en/personal/accounts
- Oman Arab Bank – https://www.oman-arabbank.com/en/Personal-Banking/Accounts
Typical bank opening hours
Banking hours in Oman vary depending on the bank and the location. Generally, banks are open from Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. Some banks may also be open on Saturday.
Areas of concern for expats
There are no specific areas of concern for expats regarding the banking system in Oman. However, it is important to note that Oman has strict laws and regulations regarding money laundering and terrorism financing. Therefore, expats should be prepared to provide identification documents when opening a bank account in Oman.
Opening a bank account
Opening a bank account in Oman is a relatively straightforward process. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Choose a bank
Research the different banks in Oman and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Step 2: Gather the required documents
You will need to provide the following documents:
- Valid passport
- Resident card or visa
- Proof of address (utility bill or rental agreement)
Step 3: Visit the bank
Visit the bank in person and provide the required documents. The bank may also require additional information such as your occupation and source of income.
Step 4: Complete the application
Complete the application form provided by the bank.
Step 5: Wait for approval
The bank will review your application and inform you of the status of your account opening.
Step 6: Activate your account
Once your account is approved, you will receive your account details and can activate your account by depositing funds.
In conclusion, banking in Oman is a straightforward process, with many banks offering accounts and services specifically aimed at expats. As always, it is important to do your research and choose the bank that best meets your needs.