Muscat, Oman

Muscat, Oman

According to abbreviationfinder, Muscat is the cultural and modern capital city of Oman, it is located on the shores of the Gulf of Oman. It is the most important city in the country and the main administrative center. Its population is 769,090 residents.


Muscat was under the rule of the Portuguese in the periods 1507 to 1580 and 1640 to 1650, of Spain between 1580 and 1640. It is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East. Evidence of communal activity has been found in the areas around the city dating back to the 6th century BC. In the area south of the city, remains of Harappan pottery were found indicating some level of contact with the Indus civilization. Muscat’s fame as a port has been recognized as early as the 1st century dne by the Greek geographer Ptolemy, who names it Cryptus Portus (the Hidden Port), and by Pliny the Elder, who calls it Amithoscuta.

In the 3rd century AD, the port fell into a Sassanid invasion, under the rule of Sapor I, while the conversion to Islam occurred during the 7th century. Muscat’s importance as a commercial port grew in subsequent centuries, under the influence of the Azd dynasty, a local tribe. The establishment of the first Imamate in the 9th century AD was the first step in consolidating the disparate Omani tribal factions under the flag of the Ibadi state. However, tribal skirmishes continued, allowing the Abbasids of Baghdad to conquer Oman and occupied the region until the 11th century, when they were driven out by the local Yahmad tribe.. Power over Oman shifted from the Yahmad tribe to the Azdi clan of Nahahinah, during which time the populations of coastal ports such as Muscat prospered through maritime trade and close alliances with the Indian subcontinent, at the cost of alienation from the population of the interior of Oman.

In July 1507 the Portuguese conqueror Afonso de Albuquerque attacked Muscat, which produced a bloody battle between the Portuguese and forces loyal to the Persian governor of the city. When the city fell, Albuquerque massacred most of the residents, including men, women, and children — after which the town was occupied and looted. The Portuguese and Spanish held their post in Muscat for more than a century, despite challenges from Persia and the bombardment of the town by the Turks in 1546. The Turks captured twice Portuguese Muscat, Muscat Sequestration (1552) and 1581 -88.

The election of Nasir bin Murshid al-Yaribi as Imam of Oman in 1624 brought about a shift in the balance of power once again in the region, from the Persians and Portuguese to local Omanis. On August 16, 1648, the Imam organized an army in Muscat, which captured and demolished the steep towers of the Portuguese, resulting in a weakening of their control over the city. Decidedly, in 1650, a small but determined body of the Nasir’s troops attacked the port during the night, finally forcing the surrender of the Portuguese on January 23, 1650. A civil war, and repeated raids by the Persian king Nadir Shah in the 18th century destabilized the region, and closer relations between the interior of the region and Muscat. This lack of power in Oman led to the rise of the Al Bu Sa’id dynasty, which has ruled Oman ever since.

Muscat’s naval and military supremacy was reestablished in the 19th century by Said bin Sultan, who gained control over Zanzibar, eventually moving his capital to Stone Town, the old quarter of Zanzibar City, in 1840. However, after his death in 1856, control over Zanzibar was lost when it became an independent sultanate under his sixth son, Majid bin Said (1834 / 5–1870), while his third son, Thuwaini bin Said, was became Sultan of Oman.

During the second half of the 19th century, the fortunes of the Al Bu Said declined and friction with the magnets within the interior re-emerged. Muscat and Matrah were attacked by inland tribes in 1895 and again in 1915. An attempted ceasefire was broken by the British, who offered the interior greater autonomy. However, conflicts between the disparate tribes of the interior, and with the Sultan of Muscat and Oman continued throughout the 1950s, eventually reaching the Dhofar rebellion (1962).

The rebellion forced Sultan Said bin Taimur to seek assistance from the British to quell the revolts in the interior. The failure of the assassination attempt on Said bin Taimur led to the subsequent isolation of the Sultan, who moved his resident from Muscat to Salalah, amid conflict between armed civilians. The 23 of July of 1970 Qabus bin Said, son of Sultan, carried out a coup bloodless palace in Salalah with the presence of the British, and took over as ruler.


The city is surrounded by mountains and is located on the shores of the Gulf of Oman. It occupies an area of 3,500 km². Muscat is also called one of the governorates into which Oman is divided, composed in turn by six vilayatos they are: Muscat, Matrah, Bousher, Seeb, Al Amirat and Qurayyat.


Muscat is the main administrative center and the most important city in the country. Modern highways, built in the 1970s, link the city with other cities in Oman and with its neighboring country the United Arab Emirates. Muscat was the main port in the country, until a new port located in Mina Qaboos was built in 1974. Near the city are a cargo terminal for giant tankers, through which refined oil is imported, as well as the international airport.


Capital of the Sultanate of Oman, Muscat is a unique city. Oasis in the desert, it is not only the smallest but also the warmest in the world… In other words, It is true that with its walls and the Blue Palace flanked by the forts of Jalali and Mirani, Muscat has the charm of the ancient cities of legend. From the port of Mutrah to Old Muscat, passing the iconic incense burner on the Corniche.

Places of interest

  • Bait Al-Zubair Museum
  • Franco-Omani Museum
  • Bahla
  • Route of the Rustaq Forts,
  • Nizwa
  • Nakhl
  • Jabrin, the village of Tanuf and the great mosque.


Influenced by Middle Eastern and Indian recipes, Omani cuisine is as delicious as it is colorful. From the taverns in the old town to the restaurants on the seafront, you just have to decide where to discover Muscat’s culinary specialties. From the meat skewers (chawarma) inherited from the Lebanese to the Indian “biryanis” of fish, chicken or lamb, each dish reflects Muscat’s important cultural miscegenation. The fresh fish barbecues are delicious too. Recommended: makbou (biryanis with tomato sauce), chicken masala, falafel, mezze and rose water drinks.


It is very easy to have fun during a stay in Muscat. You can start by exploring the Muttrah neighborhood. With its souk full of life, it is an ideal place to linger for a while and find bargains such as fabrics, incense, jewelry, kandjiares… The artisan stalls located around the old Muscat are full of cafes ideal to stop for a while. Locals and foreigners meet here in the afternoon to enjoy the lively atmosphere of these picturesque taverns, full of people of all kinds. It is highly advisable to take a walk along the Muscat Corniche, relax on the main beach of the city and cycle along the Muttrah cove.

Recommended itinerary

The Route of the Forts is an inseparable walk from the Muscat cruises. The first place to discover is the Nizwa Fort, surrounded by a beautiful palm grove that has dominated the city since its construction in the 17th century. At 45 km, the Jabrin Fort was built around the same time, although lovers of Islamic architecture will surely prefer the Bahla Fort, made entirely of earth and famous for being the oldest building of its kind in the region. However, the most impressive of this cruise stopover are Rustaq and Nakhl: one has 12 well-preserved towers and the other, built on a rock, is considered the best in the country.


Most of the population is Muslim, there is also a minority of Hindu and Christian people. See population of Oman.

Muscat, Oman

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