Muscat in Oman

Wednesday, 22 July 2015 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Al-Khuwair neighborhood © Joe Castleman/cc-by-sa-3.0

Al-Khuwair neighborhood © Joe Castleman/cc-by-sa-3.0

Muscat is the capital of Oman. It is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat. According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the total population of Muscat Governorate reached 1.2 million as of April 2014. The metropolitan area spans approximately 3,500 km2 (1,400 sq mi) and includes six provinces called wilayats. 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, 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, the Balochis and Gujaratis. 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.

The rocky Western Al Hajar Mountains dominate the landscape of Muscat. The city lies on the Arabian Sea along the Gulf of Oman and is in the proximity of the strategic Straits of Hormuz. Low-lying white buildings typify most of Muscat’s urban landscape, while the port-district of Muttrah, with its corniche and harbour, form the north-eastern periphery of the city. Muscat’s economy is dominated by trade, petroleum and porting.

Al-Alam Palace of Sultan Qabus ibn Said © Imbâbah22/cc-by-sa-3.0 Muscat Royal Opera House © Paasikivi/cc-by-sa-3.0 Costa Victoria in Port Sultan Qaboos © DXR/cc-by-sa-3.0 Old Muscat © Imbâbah22/cc-by-sa-3.0 Sunrise © Imbâbah22/cc-by-sa-3.0 Al-Khuwair neighborhood © Joe Castleman/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Al-Alam Palace of Sultan Qabus ibn Said © Imbâbah22/cc-by-sa-3.0
Muscat’s economy, like that of Oman, is dominated by trade. The more traditional exports of the city included dates, mother of pearl, and fish. Many of the souks of Muttrah sell these items and traditional Omani artefacts. Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has been central to Muscat’s economy since at least 1962 and is the country’s second largest employer, after the government. PDO’s major shareholders include Royal Dutch/Shell, Total, and Partex and its production is estimated to be about 720,000 barrels per day (114,000 m3/d). The Muscat Securities Market is the principal stock exchange of Oman. It is located in Central Business District of Muscat and it was established in 1988, and has since distinguished itself as a pioneer among its regional peers in terms of transparency and disclosure regulations and requirements. Mina’a Sultan Qaboos, Muscat’s main trading port, is a trading hub between the Persian Gulf, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East with an annual volume of about 1.6 million tons. However, the emergence of the Jebel Ali Free Zone in neighboring Dubai has made that port the premier maritime trading port of the region with about 44 million tons traded in cargo annually. Many infrastructural facilities are owned and operated by the government of Oman. The airline Oman Air has its head office on the grounds of Muscat International Airport.

The city has numerous mosques including the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Ruwi Mosque, Saeed bin Taimoor and Zawawi Mosque. A few Shi’ite mosques also exist here. Muscat has a number of museums. These include Museum of Omani Heritage, National Museum of Oman, Oman Children’s Museum al Zubair, Oman Oil and Gas Exhibition Centre, Omani French Museum, Sultan’s Armed Forces Museum and the Omani Aquarium and Marine Science and Fisheries Centre. The Bait Al Falaj Fort played an important role in Muscat’s military history. Recent projects include the Royal Opera House Muscat which opened on October 14, 2011. One of the most notable new projects is the Oman National Museum. It is expected to be an architectural jewel along with the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Visitors are also encouraged to visit Old Muscat and the Old Palace. The main shopping district is situated in Al Qurum Commercial Area, however shopping malls are spread out throughout the city.

Read more on Muscat, lonelyplanet.com – Muscat, Muscat International Airport, Wikitravel Muscat and Wikipedia Muscat (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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