Muscat was established as a trading port between the east and west early in the 1st century. It became the capital of Oman in 1793. The city is found in the governorate of Muscat, which forms its larger metropolitan area. Muscat city sits on the coast of the Arabian Sea in Northeast Oman. It is built along the Gulf of Oman, close to the straits of Hormuz. Its neighbors are the Ash Sharqiyah Region to the east and the Al Batinah Region to the west. The Western Al Hajar Mountains traverse its northern coastline. The city shares its southern border with the Ad Dakhiliyah Region plains.

As of May 2017, the Metro area of Muscat had a population of 1,560,330 people. Those who reside in the city are about 233,000. The governorate has six provinces locally known as wilayats. According to a 2003 census, Seeb province is the most populous. Omanis constitute about 60% of Muscat’s total population while 40% of those living in the city are expatriates. Expats dominate the labor force, particularly the sectors of construction and trade. The city has a literacy rate of 90%. Islam is the dominant religion in Muscat, and the predominant language is Arabic. However, the residents also speak English, Swahili, South Asian languages, and Balochi.

Muscat has a rich history and it is popular with cultural tourists. The city was named the Capital of Arab Tourism in 2012 by Lonely Planet. The old city of Muscat is one of the primary attractions in the Muscat. It lies between the Al Bustan Beach and Port Sultan Qaboos, with coastal mountains separating it from Modern Muscat. Al Alam Palace, Muscat Gate Museum, the Omani French Museum, Fort Al-Jalali, and Bait Al Zubair are some of the sites tourists can visit in Old Muscat. The city also has several other museums, forts like the Bait Al Falaj, notable landmarks such as Ruwi Mosque and the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, and an opera house.

Muscat lies in an arid region with a hot desert climate. In the Köppen classification, the climate is denoted as BWh. Muscat experiences warm winters and very hot and long summers. During the hot months of the year, it is very humid, and temperatures frequently reach 40 0C. Precipitation is scarce in the city, and the annual rainfall is about 10 cm. Rain falls between December and April. In recent years, however, the city has been affected by cyclones originating from the Arabian Sea. The powerful tropical systems feature very heavy rainfall and damaging winds.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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