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Oman - Utilities

Drinking tap water in Oman is perfectly safe; however most local people drink bottled water and it is always advisable that the foreign visitor does too. The water utility company that controls the water desalination in Oman was due to be privatised by the end of 2009. Mains water is available in most areas, but for those who are not connected, water trucks come and fill the water tank regularly. There are two types, a blue truck for domestic water and a green one for industrial use.

If there are any water leaks on your property you will be liable for them, whether you are aware of the problem or not, so it is worth keeping an eye on water bills and meter usage, and if there appears to be an unexplained rise the water supply may need to be checked for problems.

There is no mains gas in Oman but bottled gas (LPG) is readily available for those wishing to cook this way. Bottled gas cooking is ideal as infrequent power cuts occur and so saves on the inconvenience. Those who live in an apartment block with a shared gas tank may find that the cost of gas is included in the rent. You pay your utility bills through your bank or directly with Oman Investment and Finance Company (OIFC) always keep the stamped receipt as proof of payment.

Electricity in Oman is supplied by Oman Electricity Transmission Company and works on a 240 volt system. Confusingly, appliances are sold with 2 pin plugs, but the sockets are British 3 pin plug type. Adapters are readily available in most shops, or changing all the plugs is another option. Budgeting for higher electricity costs in summer is advisable as air conditioning units will be running more often.

In order to have utilities connected you will need to be in possession of your ID card/residency permit. When renting a property the landlord or letting agent may be able to help you to have these services connected but it does often involve a visit to the company’s offices. Conveniently, the utility companies occasionally place offices in the centre of towns, but the sign-up process can be lengthy and will more than likely involve a wait. Expats may also find that they are expected to pay a deposit for utility services, though this is always refundable when they leave the property or can be transferred if they move to a different place.

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