Spent a few days in Muscat, Oman’s port capital. Its a very pleasant town and it slowly grew on me. Walked about the harbour area and lost a few kilos in sweat in the process
Muscat sits on the Gulf of Oman surrounded by mountains and desert. With history dating back to antiquity, it mixes high-rises and upscale shopping malls with clifftop landmarks such as the 16th-century Portuguese forts, Al Jalali and Mirani, looming over Muscat Harbor. Its modern, marble-clad Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, with 50m dome and prodigious Persian carpet, can accommodate 20,000 people.
(Please click on any thumbnail to enlarge the whole gallery for full size images)
Known since the early 1st century CE as an important trading port between the west and the east, Muscat was ruled by various indigenous tribes as well as foreign powers such as the Persians, the Portuguese Empire and the Ottoman Empire at various points in its history. A regional military power in the 18th century, Muscat’s influence extended as far as East Africa and Zanzibar. As an important port-town in the Gulf of Oman, Muscat attracted foreign tradesmen and settlers such as the Persians, Balochis and Sindhis.
Since the ascension of Qaboos bin Said as Sultan of Oman in 1970, Muscat has experienced rapid infrastructural development that has led to the growth of a vibrant economy and a multi-ethnic society. Muscat is termed as a Beta – Global City by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.