Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, is located on the Gulf of Oman
at the south part of Al Batinah coast.
It is confined between Gulf of Oman and the mountains of AI Hajr Al Sharyi.
With the great advantage of a deepwater harbour in the western part of the city, Muscat is the heart of the country’s foreign trade.
The capital has nine villages attached to it, these being Sidab, Haramel, Al Bustan, Al Jussa, Qantab, Yankat, Yiti, Al Khayran Al Sifa and Sifat Al Sheikh.
Muscat is certainly one of the oldest cities in the whole Middle East, being known since the second century A.D.
The first foreign presence in Muscat was in the form of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who passed through Oman on his way to India. The Portuguese returned in 1507 and made of Muscat a trading post and naval base until 1650 when the Imam Sultan bin Saif defeated the and drove the Portuguese away east to Goa, India. Muscat became the capital of an independent Oman in 1741,when the present dynasty assumed power.
The capital’s growth has been greatly accelerated in the 20th century, following the discovery of rich oil reserves in Arabia.
Today, Muscat can be divided into three main and quite distinctive regions: the old town, Mutrah and Ruwi.
The old town's boundaries are marked by gated walls, enclosing the area around the port, the Sultan's palace and the harbour.
Mutrah is the residential area and Ruwi is the modern business centre.
Muscat is served by an international airport, Seeb-International-Airport, located around 25 km from the city's business district of Ruwi.
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