Muscat is the Sultanate of Oman’s capital and its most significant and populated city (at 1.2 million).
Muscat has been known as a major commercial port between the west and the east from the early first century CE, and has been governed by numerous local tribes as well as foreign powers such as the Persians, the Portuguese Empire, and the Ottoman Empire at various periods in its history.
Muscat’s environment is dominated by the craggy Western Al Hajar Mountains. The city is located on the Arabian Sea, in the Gulf of Oman, and is close to the strategically important Straits of Hormuz.
It has a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural community and welcomes the most international tourists in the country. Muscat, unlike other Gulf towns, most notably those in the UAE and Qatar, lacks a contemporary skyline. Following the Sultan’s preferences, contemporary building must conform to historic Arabic architectural styles, resulting in a more subdued metropolitan setting.