MUSCAT, Oman (AP) _ Sultan Qaboos has ruled that no man should pay more than 2,000 riyals, about $5,160, for his bride, his aides reported Monday.

The issue of the amount paid by men to the parents of their prospective brides has become a key point during the sultan's annual ''meet the people'' tour of this Arab country. He has called the bridal payment system evil.

His decision to limit the amount to be paid was reported by his special adviser, Hamad Bin Hamoud, in an interview with the government-owned newspaper Oman.

In the same report, Education Minister Yahya al-Mantheri said a nationwide campaign against high bridal payments would be conducted in schools and youth centers.

Last week, while visiting eastern Oman, the sultan urged sheiks and other dignitaries to use their influence to curb the practice of paying for bribes.

''Women are not a commodity to be sold or bought,'' he said.

The sultan, who has issued special decrees in recent years to restrict Omanis from marrying foreigners, said removal of the bridal-payment system would encourage the nation's young men to marry Omani women.

Foreign women are often sought for marriage because they do not demand money.

''This practice will not end with the continued paying of a high dowry and its consequent bad effects will continue,'' the sultan said last week. ''We don't want a situation where a husband can tell his wife that he bought her.''