Muscat: Omanis and Sultanate-based expatriates visiting the UAE spend about OMR42 million a year on shopping, according to official statistics.
The figures are based on the annual exchange of the UAE dirham in money exchange companies and banks by individuals as recorded by the Central Bank of Oman. However, these numbers do not include transactions of cross border businesses.
Statistics from the Muscat Airport and the country's borders with the UAE show that 240,000 passengers travelled from Oman to the emirates in 2013. The figure does not take into account the trucks carrying goods across the UAE borders. Most of these visitors from Oman visit the UAE more than once, mainly the emirates of Dubai and Sharjah.
Omanis mostly spend in hotels, shopping, restaurants, and, when they are building homes, on furniture and building materials. In the last three years, Omanis have been opting to go to Dubai for medical treatment instead of India and Thailand.