Muscat

Muscat (Arabic: مسقط‎, Masqaṭ pronounced [ˈmasqatˤ]) is the capital and largest city of Oman. It is the seat of the Governorate of Muscat. According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the total population of Muscat Governorate reached 1.4 million as of September 2018.[2] The metropolitan area spans approximately 3,500 km2 (1,400 sq mi)[3] 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, the Portuguese Empire, the Iberian Union 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 and the Balochis. 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 Global City.

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, liquified natural gas and porting.

Muscat

مسقط
Muscat Gate
Muscat Gate
Muscat is located in Oman
Muscat
Muscat
Location of Muscat in Oman
Muscat is located in Asia
Muscat
Muscat
Muscat (Asia)
Coordinates: 23°35′20″N 58°24′30″E / 23.58889°N 58.40833°ECoordinates: 23°35′20″N 58°24′30″E / 23.58889°N 58.40833°E
Country Oman
GovernorateMuscat
Government
 • TypeAbsolute monarchy
 • SultanQaboos bin Said
Area
 • Land273.9 km2 (105.8 sq mi)
 • Metro
3,797 km2 (1,466 sq mi)
Population
(May 2017)
1,720,000
 • Density450/km2 (1,200/sq mi)
 • Metro
1,720,000 [1]
Time zoneUTC+4 (GST)
WebsiteMuscat Municipality

Etymology

Ptolemy's Map of Arabia identifies the territories of Cryptus Portus[4] and Moscha Portus.[5] Scholars are divided in opinion on which of the two related to the city of Muscat. Similarly, Arrianus references Omana and Moscha in Voyage of Nearchus. Interpretations of Arrianus' work by William Vincent and Jean Baptiste Bourguignon d'Anville conclude that Omana was a reference to Oman, while Moscha referred to Muscat.[6] Similarly, other scholars identify Pliny the Elder's reference to Amithoscuta to be Muscat.[4]

The origin of the word Muscat is disputed. Some authors claim that the word has Arabic origins – from moscha, meaning an inflated hide or skin.[7] Other authors claim that the name Muscat means anchorage or the place of "letting fall the anchor".[8] Other derivations include muscat from Old Persian, meaning strong-scented,[9] or from Arabic, meaning falling-place,[10] or hidden.[11] Cryptus Portus is synonymous with Oman ("hidden land"). But "Ov-man" (Omman), and the old Sumerian name Magan (Maa-kan), means sea-people in Arabic. An inhabitant is a Muscatter, Muscatian, Muscatite or Muscatan.

History

Muscat harbor
Muscat harbour, ca. 1903. Visible in the background is Fort Al Jalali.
RoyalOperaHouseMuscat 02
Royal Opera House Muscat
The Persian problem; an examination of the rival positions of Russia and Great Britain in Persia, with some account of the Persian gulf and the Bagdad railway (1903) (14577292147) (cropped)
A view of Muscat ca. 1902

Evidence of communal activity in the area around Muscat dates back to the 6th millennium BCE in Ras al-Hamra, where burial sites of fishermen have been found. The graves appear to be well formed and indicate the existence of burial rituals. South of Muscat, remnants of Harappan pottery indicate some level of contact with the Indus Valley Civilisation.[12] Muscat's notability as a port was acknowledged as early as the 1st century CE by the Greek geographer Ptolemy, who referred to it as Cryptus Portus (the Hidden Port), and by Pliny the Elder, who called it Amithoscuta.[13]

The port fell to a Sassanid invasion in the 3rd century CE, under the rule of Shapur I,[14] while conversion to Islam occurred during the 7th century. Muscat's importance as a trading port continued to grow in the centuries that followed, under the influence of the Azd dynasty, a local tribe. The establishment of the First Imamate in the 9th century CE was the first step in consolidating disparate Omani tribal factions under the banner of an Ibadi state. However, tribal skirmishes continued, allowing the Abbasids of Baghdad to conquer Oman. The Abbasids 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 Nabahinah clan, during whose rule, the people of coastal ports such as Muscat prospered from maritime trade and close alliances with the Indian subcontinent, at the cost of the alienation of the people of the interior of Oman.

Qasr Al Alam Royal Palace (4)
Oman Council building in Muscat

The Portuguese admiral Afonso de Albuquerque sailed to Muscat in 1507, in an attempt to establish trade relations. As he approached the harbor, his ships were fired on. He then decided to conquer Muscat. Most of the city burned to the ground during and after the fighting.

The Portuguese maintained a hold on Muscat for over a century, despite challenges from Persia and a bombardment of the town by the Ottoman Turks in 1546.[15] The Turks twice captured Muscat from the Portuguese, in the Capture of Muscat (1552) and 1581-88. The election of Nasir bin Murshid Al-Ya'rubi as Imam of Oman in 1624 changed the balance of power again in the region, from the Persians and the Portuguese to local Omanis. On August 16, 1648 the Imam dispatched an army to Muscat, which captured and demolished the high towers of the Portuguese, weakening their grip over the town. Decisively, in 1650, a small but determined body of the Imam's troops attacked the port at night, forcing an eventual Portuguese surrender on January 23, 1650.[16] A civil war and repeated incursions by the Persian king Nader Shah in the 18th century destabilised the region, and further strained relations between the interior and Muscat. This power vacuum in Oman led to the emergence of the Al Bu Sa‘id dynasty, which has ruled Oman ever since.[17]

Muscat's naval and military supremacy was re-established in the 19th century by Said bin Sultan, who signed a treaty with U.S. President Andrew Jackson's representative Edmund Roberts on September 21, 1833.[19] Having gained control over Zanzibar, in 1840 Said moved his capital to Stone Town, the ancient quarter of Zanzibar City; 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 the third son, Thuwaini bin Said, became the Sultan of Oman. During the second half of the 19th century, the fortunes of the Al Bu Sa`id declined and friction with the Imams of the interior resurfaced. Muscat and Muttrah were attacked by tribes from the interior in 1895 and again in 1915.[20] A tentative ceasefire was brokered by the British, which gave the interior more autonomy. However, conflicts among the disparate tribes of the interior, and with the Sultan of Muscat and Oman continued into the 1950s, and eventually escalated into the Dhofar Rebellion (1962). The rebellion forced the Sultan Said bin Taimur to seek the assistance of the British in quelling the uprisings from the interior. The failed assassination attempt of April 26 1966 on Said bin Taimur led to the further isolation of the Sultan, who had moved his residence from Muscat to Salalah, amidst the civilian armed conflict. On July 23, 1970, Qaboos bin Said, son of the Sultan, staged a bloodless[21] coup d'état in the Salalah palace with the assistance of the British, and took over as ruler.

WH1-Effo080a
Muscat harbor during World War I

With the assistance of the British, Qaboos bin Said put an end to the Dhofar uprising and consolidated disparate tribal territories. He renamed the country the Sultanate of Oman (called Muscat and Oman hitherto), in an attempt to end to the interior's isolation from Muscat. Qaboos enlisted the services of capable Omanis to fill positions in his new government,[22] drawing from such corporations as Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). New ministries for social services such as health and education were established. The construction of Mina Qaboos, a new port conceived initially by Sa`id bin Taimur, was developed during the early days of Qaboos' rule. Similarly, a new international airport was developed in Muscat's Seeb district. A complex of offices, warehouses, shops and homes transformed the old village of Ruwi in Muttrah into a commercial district.[23] The first five-year development plan in 1976 emphasised infrastructural development of Muscat, which provided new opportunities for trade and tourism in the 1980s – 1990s, attracting migrants from around the region. On June 6, 2007, Cyclone Gonu hit Muscat causing extensive damage to property, infrastructure and commercial activity.

Early photographs of the city and harbor, taken in the early 20th century by German explorer and photographer, Hermann Burchardt, are now held at the Ethnological Museum of Berlin.[24]

Geography and geology

Muscat SPOT 1089
Muscat by SPOT Satellite
Road towards Qantab, Muscat
Muscat's rugged terrain, with plutonic Western Al Hajar Mountains dotting the landscape

Muscat is located in northeast Oman. The Tropic of Cancer passes south of the area. It is bordered to its west by the plains of the Al Batinah Region and to its east by Ash Sharqiyah Region. The interior plains of the Ad Dakhiliyah Region border Muscat to the south, while the Gulf of Oman forms the northern and western periphery of the city. The water along the coast of Muscat runs deep, forming two natural harbours, in Muttrah and Muscat. The Western Al Hajar Mountains run through the northern coastline of the city.

Volcanic rocks, predominantly serpentinite and diorite are apparent in the Muscat area and extend along the Gulf of Oman coast for ten or twelve 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from the district of Darsait to Yiti.[25] Plutonic rocks constitute the hills and mountains of Muscat and span approximately 30 miles (48 km) from Darsait to Ras Jissah. These igneous rocks consists of serpentinite, greenstone, and basalt, typical of rocks in southeastern regions of the Arabian Peninsula. South of Muscat, the volcanic rock strata are broken up and distorted, rising to a maximum height of 6,000 feet (1,800 m), in Al Dakhiliyah, a region which includes Jebel Akhdar, the country's highest range. The hills in Muscat are mostly devoid of vegetation but are rich in iron.

The halophytic sabkha type desert vegetation is predominant in Muscat.[26] The Qurum Nature Reserve contains plants such as the Arthrocnemum Macrostachyum and Halopeplis Perfoliata. Coral reefs are common in Muscat. Acropora reefs exist in the sheltered bays of the satellite towns of Jussah and Khairan.[27] Additionally, smaller Porites reef colonies exist in Khairan, which have fused to form a flat-top pavement that is visible at low tide. Crabs and spiny crayfish are found in the waters of the Muscat area, as are sardines and bonito.[28] Glassfish are common in freshwater estuaries, such as the Qurum Nature Reserve.[29]

The Sultan Qaboos Street forms the main artery of Muscat, running west-to-east through the city. The street eventually becomes Al Nahdah Street near Al Wattayah. Several inter-city roads such as Nizwa Road and Al Amrat Road, intersect with Al Sultan Qaboos Road (in Rusail and Ruwi, respectively). Muttrah, with the Muscat Harbour, Corniche, and Mina Qaboos, is located in the north-eastern coastline of the city, adjacent to the Gulf of Oman. Other coastal districts of Muscat include Darsait, Mina Al Fahal, Ras Al Hamar, Al Qurum Heights, Al Khuwair, and Al Seeb. Residential and commercial districts further inland include Al Hamriyah, Al Wadi Al Kabir, Ruwi, Al Wattayah, Madinat Qaboos, Al Azaiba and Al Ghubra.

Climate

Muscat features a hot, arid climate (Köppen climate classification BWh) with long and very hot summers and warm "winters". Annual rainfall in Muscat is about 10 cm (4 in), falling mostly from December to April. In general, precipitation is scarce in Muscat, with several months on average seeing only a trace of rainfall. However, in recent years, heavy precipitation events from tropical systems originating in the Arabian Sea have affected the city. Cyclone Gonu in June 2007 and Cyclone Phet in June 2010 affected the city with damaging winds and rainfall amounts exceeding 100 mm (4 in) in just a single day. The climate generally is very hot and also very humid in the summer, with temperatures frequently reaching as high as 45 °C (104 °F) in the summer.

Economy

Land Rover and Extreme Sailing Series™ enjoy thrill of Stadium Racing in Muscat (13346080234)
Stadium Racing in Muscat

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). Muscat also has major trading companies such as Suhail Bahwan Group, which is a trading partner for corporations such as Toshiba, Subaru, Seiko, Hewlett Packard, General Motors, RAK Ceramics; Saud Bahwan Group whose trading partners are Toyota, Daihatsu, KIA and Hertz Rent-a-Car; Zubair Automotive whose trading partners include Mitsubishi, and Chrysler brands such as Dodge; and Moosa AbdulRahman Hassan which operates as one of the oldest automotive agencies in the entire region being established in 1927. The private Health Care sector of Muscat, Oman has numerous hospitals and clinics.

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.

Muscat Oman
Ruwi, the main business district of Muscat

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, United Arab Emirates, 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. Omantel is the major telecommunications organization in Oman and provides local, long-distance and international dialing facilities and operates as the country's only ISP. Recent liberalization of the mobile telephone market has seen the establishment of a second provider — Ooredoo.

Muscat is home to multibillion-dollar conglomerate Ck Industries with their headquarters located in Ruwi.[31] Ajman based Amtek Industries also have a couple of offices around the city.[31] It is also home to Galfar Engineering,[32] headed by P. Mohammed Ali.

The airline Oman Air has its head office on the grounds of Muscat International Airport.[33]

Demographics

According to the 2003 census conducted by the Oman Ministry of National Economy, the population of Muscat is over 630,000, which included 370,000 males and 260,000 females.[34] Muscat formed the second largest governorate in the country, after Al Batinah, accounting for 27% of the total population of Oman. As of 2003, Omanis constituted 60% of the total population of Muscat, while expatriates accounted for about 40%.[35] The population density of the city was 162.1 per km2.

Shangri La resort in Muscat
Shangri la in Muscat

The governorate of Muscat comprises six wilayats: Muttrah, Bawshar, Seeb, Al Amrat, Muscat and Qurayyat. Of the wilayats, Seeb, located in the western section of the governorate, was the most populous (with over 220,000 residents), while Muttrah had the highest number of expatriates (with over 100,000).[34] Approximately 71% of the population was within the 15–64 age group, with the average Omani age being 23 years.[36] About 10% of the population is illiterate, an improvement when compared to the 18% illiteracy rate recorded during the 1993 census. Expatriates accounted for over 60% of the labour force, dominated by males, who accounted for 80% of the city's total labour. A majority of expatriates (34%) engineering-related occupations, while most Omanis worked in engineering, clerical, scientific or technical fields. The defense sector was the largest employer for Omanis, while construction, wholesale and retail trade employed the largest number of expatriates.

The ethnic makeup of Muscat has historically been influenced by people not native to the Arabian Peninsula. British Parliamentary papers dating back to the 19th century indicate the presence of a significant Hindu Gujarati merchants in the city[37] Indeed, four Hindu temples existed in Muscat ca. 1760.[38] Christianity flourished in Oman (Bēṯ Mazūnāyē "land of the Maganites"; a name deriving from its Sumerian designation) from the late 4th century to early 5th century. Missionary activity by the Assyrians of the Church of the East resulted in a significant Christian population living in the region, with a bishop being attested by 424 AD under the Metropolitan of Fars and Arabia. The rise of Islam saw the Syriac and Arabic-speaking Christian population eventually disappear. It is thought to have been brought back in by the Portuguese in 1507.[39] Protestant missionaries established a hospital in Muscat in the 19th century.

Like the rest of Oman, Arabic is the predominant language of the city. In addition, English, Balochi, Swahili and South Asian languages such as Bengali, Hindi, Konkani, Marathi, Gujarati, Malayalam, Tamil and Urdu[40] are spoken by the residents of Muscat. Islam is the predominant religion in the city, with most followers being Ibadi Muslims. Non-Muslims are allowed to practice their religion, but may not proselytize publicly or distribute religious literature.

Notable landmarks

Costa Victoria in Port Sultan Qaboos, Muscat, Oman 20120408 1
The Port Sultan Qaboos

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, Bait 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.[41] The Bait Al Falaj Fort played an important role in Muscat's military history.

Recent projects include an opera house 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. One of the largest malls in Oman is Oman Avenues Mall, located in Ghubra. The second largest mall is in Seeb, near the international airport, called City Centre Muscat, housing all major international brands and the largest Carrefour hypermarket. Two new megamalls openly recently in the Mabela area of Muscat are Al Araimi Boulevard and Mall of Muscat. Mall of Muscat is also home to Oman Aquarium and a snow park which will be opened in late 2019.

The main airport is Muscat International Airport around 25 km (16 mi) from the city's business district of Ruwi and 15 to 20 km from the main residential localities of Al-Khuwair, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Shati Al-Qurm and Al-Qurm. Muscat is the headquarters for the local Oman Air, which flies to several destinations within the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, East Africa and Europe. Other airlines such as Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, KLM, SriLankan, Royal Jordanian, British Airways, PIA, Lufthansa, Emirates, Swiss International Air Lines, Kuwait Airways, Air India and Thai Airways also fly through Muscat International Airport.

The Muscat area is well serviced by paved roads and dual-carriageway connects most major cities and towns in the country.

Since November 2015, Public transportation in Muscat has been revamped with a bus network connecting most important parts of the city with a fleet of modern Mwasalat (earlier Oman National Transport Company (ONTC) buses. Mwasalat buses procured from VDL of The Netherlands and MAN of Germany have several hi-tech features, including free Wi-Fi. Route 1 (Ruwi-Mabela) serves people travelling major shopping destinations (Oman Avenues Mall, Muscat Grand Mall, Qurum City Centre, Muscat City Centre, Markaz al Bhaja) and Muscat Airport. Route 2 (Ruwi-Wadi Kabir) serves the residential and industrial district of Wadi Kabir. Route 3 (Ruwi-Wadi Adei) serves the downmarket residential belt of Wadi Adei. Route 4 (Ruwi-Mattrah) serves the tourist destination of Muttrah Corniche, Al Alam Palace, Muttrah Fort, National Museum and Port Sultan Qaboos and churches/temples. Route 5 (Ruwi-Amerat) serves the rapidly developing Amerat suburb. Route 6 (Ruwi-SQU&KOM) serves the student community of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and the office commuters of Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM). Route 7 serves the three major malls in Muscat - Al Araimi Boulevard, Mall of Muscat and Markaz al Bhaja and Muscat City Centre. Route 8 serves Al Khuwair and Al Mouj Integrated Complex Route 9 serves Ansab and Misfah industrial area. Route 10 serves Seeb Souq and Mawelah Vegetable Market. Route 12 serves Oman Convention and Exhibition, Ghala areas. Route 14 serves PDO, Qurm Natural Park, Qurm City Centre, Khoula Hospital. Routes 1b and 1A are special buses to Muscat International Airport.

There is no rail or metro network in the country. Several forms of public transport are popular in Oman. Most popular are the "Baiza" buses, so named for the lower denomination of the Omani rial, the baiza (an adaptation of the Indian lower denomination paisa). These are relatively inexpensive and service all major roadways, as well as a wide and loose network of smaller byways in the greater Muscat metropolitan area, opportunistically dropping off and picking up passengers at any location. Less popular and slightly more expensive are large public buses, coloured red and green, whose service is limited to major roadways and point-to-point travel routes between Oman's major cities and towns. Taxis, also colour-coded orange and white, provide semi-personal transportation in the form of both individual hire and the same opportunistic roadway service as Baiza buses.

Baiza buses and colour-coded orange-and-white taxis are unmetered, after several government initiatives to introduce meters were rejected. The fare is set by way of negotiation, although taxi drivers usually adhere to certain unwritten rules for fares within the city. In many countries, one is advised to negotiate a fare with the driver before getting into a taxi. However, in Oman, asking for the fare beforehand often demonstrates a passenger's newness and unfamiliarity with the area. One should always find out the normally accepted fare for one's journey from one's hotel or host before looking for a taxi. Taxis will also generally take passengers to locations out of the city, including Sohar, Buraimi and Dubai.

A rail network named Oman Rail is expected to be completed by 2018. This will connect Oman with the GCC countries.

Notable people

  • Mahesh Bhupathi (b. 1974), Indian tennis player, studied at the Indian School, Muscat
  • Sarah-Jane Dias (b. 1974), Indian Actress, studied at the Indian School, Muscat
  • Isla Fisher (b. 1976), Australian actress, born to Scottish parents and lived in Australia
  • Ali Al-Habsi (b. 1981), Omani professional footballer, captain of the Oman national and goalkeeper for Saudi club Al Hilal
  • Sneha Ullal (b. 1987), Indian Bollywood Actress, studied at the Indian School, Muscat
  • Avicii (b. 1989), Swedish musician and DJ Tim Bergling died in Muscat on April 20th 2018 from self-inflicted injuries

See also

Bibliography

References

  1. ^ "UNdata - country profile - Oman".
  2. ^ "The population of the Sultanate by the end of May 2015".
  3. ^ الدراسات الاجتماعية. Ministry of Education, Sultanate of Oman.
  4. ^ a b Forster (1844), p.231.
  5. ^ Forster (1844), p.241.
  6. ^ Forster (1844), p.173.
  7. ^ Forster (1844), p.173
  8. ^ Miles (1997), p.468.
  9. ^ Hailman (2006), p.49.
  10. ^ Philips (1966), p.4.
  11. ^ Room (2003), p.246.
  12. ^ Rice (1994), p.255-256
  13. ^ Forster (1844), p.234.
  14. ^ Potter (2002), p.41.
  15. ^ Miles (1997), p.167
  16. ^ Miles (1997), p. 196.
  17. ^ Miles (1997), p.256.
  18. ^ Miles (1997), p.147.
  19. ^ Cotheal, Alexander I. (2008-01-17). "Treaty between the United States of America and the Sultân of Masḳaṭ: The Arabic Text". Journal of the American Oriental Society (free)|format= requires |url= (help). JSTOR. 4 (1854): 341–343. JSTOR 592284.
  20. ^ JE Peterson's Britannica entry (1990), p.6.
  21. ^ Long (2007), p.188.
  22. ^ Middle East Policy (2004), p.126.
  23. ^ Middle East Policy (2004), p.128
  24. ^ View of the city and city walls in 1904 (Click on photo to enlarge); Muscat's wall and gate.
  25. ^ Miles (1997), p. 399.
  26. ^ Ghazanfar (1998), p. 80.
  27. ^ Salm (1993), p. 52
  28. ^ Miles (1997), p. 410.
  29. ^ Barth (2002), p. 292.
  30. ^ "Seeb Climate Normals". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  31. ^ a b "Amtek". Amtek.ae. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
  32. ^ "Contact". Galfar.com. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
  33. ^ "Contact Us". Omanair.com. Archived from the original on 2012-11-20.
  34. ^ a b Oman Census (2003), p.6.
  35. ^ Oman Census (2003), p.9.
  36. ^ Oman Census(2003), Data and Other Indicators
  37. ^ British Parliamentary Papers (1876), p. 189.
  38. ^ Kechichian (1995), p. 215.
  39. ^ Fahlbusch (1999), p. 829.
  40. ^ Peterson (2004), p. 34.
  41. ^ "Museums". Omanet.om. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009. Retrieved January 18, 2009.

Further reading

See also: Bibliography of the history of Muscat, Oman

External links

Black Muscat

Black Muscat (or Muscat Hamburg) is a red Vitis vinifera grape variety derived from the crossing of the Schiava Grossa and Muscat of Alexandria by R. Snow of Bedforshire, England in 1850 according to the Vitis International Variety Catalogue. It is known under a variety of local names such as Golden Hamburg, and Black Hamburg in the US; Muscat de Hambourg (or Hamburgh) in France; Moscato di Amburgo in Italy; and Muscat Gamburgskiy in Russia and former Soviet Union countries. Confusingly, Black Hamburg is also used as a synonym for its maternal parent. It is commonly produced as table wine but in California's Central Valley it has been used in the production of dessert wine. As a dessert wine it can be highly aromatic with a rich coloring. In the US it is grown in wine appellations in California, Virginia, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. In Canada, it is also found on Vancouver Island.In France, the grape is used chiefly as dessert grape including AOC varieties such as Muscat du Ventoux. In Eastern Europe, the grape produces a light, dry red wine. It is also starting to gain popularity as a table wine component in China.Horticulturist Walter Clore has postulated that this grape might have been one of the first Vitis vinifera varieties planted in Washington State in the early 19th century.

History of Oman

Oman is the site of pre-historic human habitation, stretching back over 100,000 years. The region was impacted by powerful invaders, including other Arab tribes, Portugal and Britain. Oman once possessed the island of Zanzibar, on the east coast of Africa as a colony.

Jebel Akhdar War

The Jebel Akhdar War (Arabic: حرب الجبل الأخضر Ḥarb al-Jebel el-ʾAkhḍar) or the Jebel Akhdar rebellion broke out in 1954 and again in 1957 in Oman, as an effort by Imam Ghalib Alhinai to protect the Imamate of Oman lands from the advancement plans of Sultan Said bin Taimur, backed by the British government. The Imamate was eventually supported by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The war lasted until 1959, when the British armed forces decided to take on direct interventions using air and ground attacks on the Imamate, which won the Sultanate the war.

Joseph Muscat

Joseph Muscat, (born January 22, 1974) is a Maltese politician who has served as Prime Minister of Malta since 2013, and Leader of the Partit Laburista (PL) since June 2008. Muscat was re-elected as Prime Minister on the 3rd of June 2017 (55.04% after 54.83% in 2013). Previously he was a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from 2004 to 2008. He was Leader of the Opposition from October 2008 to March 2013. Muscat identifies as a progressive and liberal politician, with pro-business leanings, and has been associated with both economically liberal and socially liberal policies.Becoming an MP in 2008, he succeeded Alfred Sant as party leader. Muscat rebranded the Labour Party, which embraced an increasingly socially liberal position. The 2013 General Election led to Muscat becoming Prime Minister and taking office in March 2013. His first premiership was marked for pulling together a national consensus for economic growth, based on a restructured Maltese economy. Following the Gonzi administration, and with continued support from the newly elected Labour government, Malta became an attractive location for foreign direct investment in financial services, online gaming, information technology, maritime and aviation hubs and high value-added manufacturing clusters. His administration led to large-scale changes to welfare with the introduction of social benefit tapering policies, increases in minimum wages, and introduced private sector involvement in healthcare. It partly privatised the national energy provider, and officially recognised same-sex unions in Malta. The legislation established civil unions for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples with the same rights as those available to married couples, including joint adoption rights. Same-sex marriage was legalised in mid-July 2017.Beyond making the Maltese left electable, Muscat presided over the rise of the Labour party and its dominance in Maltese politics, and the relative decline of the Nationalist Party. Muscat has been praised for eliminating Malta's national deficit, decreasing unemployment to historic lows, and presiding over an unprecedented period of economic growth. Conversely, he has been criticised by figures on both the left and right, and has been accused of political opportunism, broken promises on meritocracy and the environment, as well as corruption allegations. These allegations were the focus of the 2017 General Election, which returned Muscat with a larger majority of 38,000 votes.

Kevin Muscat

Kevin Vincent Muscat (born 7 August 1973) is a former Australian international soccer player and current manager who has been head coach of Melbourne Victory since 2013. As a player, Muscat earned a reputation for his "hard man" physical style of play.

After beginning his professional career in the Australian National Soccer League with Sunshine George Cross in 1989, Muscat played eight seasons in the United Kingdom with Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Rangers and Millwall. He returned to Australia in 2005 to captain Melbourne Victory in the inaugural season of the A-league.

Muscat retired from professional football in March 2011 after Melbourne Victory's 2011 AFC Champions League campaign, citing his growing frustration at his inability to keep pace with the game. Muscat briefly rejoined his former club Sunshine George Cross for part of the 2011 Victorian State League Division 1 season.During his international career, Muscat represented the Australia U-20 side at the 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship in Portugal and the 1993 FIFA World Youth Championship in Australia. He represented the Australia U-23 side at the 1996 Summer Olympics. After making his full international debut for Australia in September 1994 against Kuwait, Muscat represented the national side at the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2000 OFC Nations Cup, 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup.

After several seasons as assistant coach, Muscat was appointed head coach at Melbourne Victory in October 2013. He has coached Victory to the 2014–15 A-League Premiership, the 2014–15 A-League Championship and success in the 2015 FFA Cup.

List of grape varieties

This list of grape varieties includes cultivated grapes, whether used for wine, or eating as a table grape, fresh or dried (raisin, currant, sultana).

The term grape variety refers to cultivars rather than actual botanical varieties according to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, because they are propagated by cuttings and may have unstable reproductive properties. However, the term variety has become so entrenched in viticulture that any change of usage to the term cultivar is unlikely.

List of rulers of Oman

The Sultan of the Sultanate of Oman is the monarch and head of state of Oman. It is the most powerful position in the country. The sultans of Oman are members of the Al Said dynasty, which is the ruling family of Oman since the mid-18th century.

Since 23 July 1970, Qaboos bin Said al Said is the current sultan.

Muscat (grape)

The Muscat family of grapes includes over 200 grape varieties belonging to the Vitis vinifera species that have been used in wine production and as raisin and table grapes around the globe for many centuries. Their colors range from white (such as Muscat Ottonel), to yellow (Moscato Giallo), to pink (Moscato rosa del Trentino) to near black (Muscat Hamburg). Muscat grapes and wines almost always have a pronounced sweet floral aroma. The breadth and number of varieties of Muscat suggest that it is perhaps the oldest domesticated grape variety, and there are theories that most families within the Vitis vinifera grape variety are descended from the Muscat variety.Among the most notable members of the Muscat family are Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, which is the primary grape variety used in the production of the Italian sparkling wine Asti (also known as Moscato Asti) made in the Piedmont region. It is also used in the production of many of the French fortified wines known as vin doux naturels. In Australia, this is also the main grape used in the production of Liqueur Muscat, from the Victorian wine region of Rutherglen. Young, unaged and unfortified examples of Muscat blanc tend to exhibit the characteristic Muscat "grapey" aroma as well as citrus, rose and peach notes. Fortified and aged examples (particularly those that have been barrel aged) tend to be very dark in color due to oxidation with aroma notes of coffee, fruit cake, raisins and toffee.Muscat of Alexandria is another Muscat variety commonly used in the production of French vin doux naturel, but it is also found in Spain, where it is used to make many of the fortified Spanish Moscatels. Elsewhere it is used to make off-dry to sweet white wines, often labeled as Moscato in Australia, California and South Africa. In Alsace and parts of Central Europe, Muscat Ottonel is used to produce usually dry and highly perfumed wines.

Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains

Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains is a white wine grape of Greek origin that is a member of the Muscat family of Vitis vinifera. Its name comes from its characteristic small berry size and tight clusters. It is known under a variety of local names such as Moscato bianco, Muscat blanc, Muscat Canelli, Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat de Lunel, Muscat d'Alsace, Muskateller, Moscatel de Grano Menudo, Moscatel rosé and Sárgamuskotály .

While technically a white grape, there are strains of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains vines that produce berries that are pink or reddish brown. The same vine could potentially produce berries of one color one year and a different color the next. These strains are more prevalent in Australia, where the grape is also known as Frontignac and Brown Muscat. South Africa's Muskadel strain tends to show the same darker characteristics. Variants where the differing grape colour is stable are typically classified as separate grape varieties Muscat Rouge à Petit Grains for red skin colour and Muscat Rose à Petit Grains for pink skin colour.

Muscat Club

Muscat Club (Arabic: نادي مسقط‎; also known locally as Faris Al-A'asima, or "Knight of the Capital", or just plainly as Muscat) is an Omani sports club based in Muscat, Oman. The club is currently playing in the First Division League of Oman Football Association. Their home ground is Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, but they also recognize the older Royal Oman Police Stadium as their home ground. Both stadiums are government owned, but Muscat Club also own their own personal stadium and sports equipments, as well as their own training facilities.

Muscat International Airport

Muscat International Airport (IATA: MCT, ICAO: OOMS), formerly Seeb International Airport, is the main international airport in Oman and is situated 32 km from the old city and capital Muscat within the Muscat metropolitan area. The airport serves as the hub for flag carrier Oman Air and Oman's first budget airline Salam Air features flights to several regional destinations as well as some intercontinental services to Asia, Africa and Europe.

Muscat and Oman

The Sultanate of Muscat and Oman (Arabic: سلطنة مسقط وعمان‎ Salṭanat Masqaṭ wa-‘Umān) was a thalassocratic nation that encompassed the present-day Sultanate of Oman and parts of present-day United Arab Emirates and Gwadar, Pakistan. The country is not to be confused with Trucial states, which were sheikhdoms under British protection since 1820.

Muttrah

Muttrah, (Arabic: مطرح‎) administratively a district, is located in the Muscat province of Oman. Before the discovery of oil, Muttrah was the center of commerce in Oman (Muscat). It is still a center of commerce as one of the largest sea ports of the region is located there. Other landmarks include Souq Muttrah, a traditional bazaar and Sour Al-Lawatiah, a small community of houses surrounded by an old wall. To the south lies Muscat District.

Oman

Oman ( (listen) oh-MAHN; Arabic: عمان‎ ʻumān [ʕʊˈmaːn]), officially the Sultanate of Oman (Arabic: سلطنة عُمان‎ Salṭanat ʻUmān), is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. Its official religion is Islam.

Holding a strategically important position at the mouth of the Persian Gulf, the country shares land borders with the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest, and shares marine borders with Iran and Pakistan. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam exclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz (which it shares with Iran) and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries.

From the late 17th century, the Omani Sultanate was a powerful empire, vying with Portugal and the UK for influence in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean. At its peak in the 19th century, Omani influence or control extended across the Strait of Hormuz to modern-day Iran and Pakistan, and as far south as Zanzibar. When its power declined in the 20th century, the sultanate came under the influence of the United Kingdom. For over 300 years, the relations built between the two empires were based on mutual benefits. The UK recognized Oman's geographical importance as a trading hub that secured their trade lanes in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Ocean and protected their empire in the Indian sub-continent. By contrast, the British strengthened Oman's internal unity and allied the sultanate against external threats. Historically, Muscat was the principal trading port of the Persian Gulf region. Muscat was also among the most important trading ports of the Indian Ocean.

The Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said has been the hereditary leader of the country, an absolute monarchy, since 1970. Sultan Qaboos is the longest-serving current ruler in the Middle East, and third-longest current reigning monarch in the world.

Oman is a member of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. It has sizable oil reserves, ranking 25th globally. In 2010, the United Nations Development Programme ranked Oman as the most improved nation in the world in terms of development during the preceding 40 years. A significant portion of its economy involves tourism and trade of fish, dates, and certain agricultural produce. Oman is categorized as a high-income economy and ranks as the 70th most peaceful country in the world according to the Global Peace Index.

Oman Air

Oman Air (Arabic: الطيران العماني‎) is the national airline of Oman. Based at Muscat International Airport in Seeb, Muscat; it operates domestic and international passenger services, as well as regional air taxi and charter flights. Oman Air is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organization.

Seeb

Al-Seeb, As Seeb or As Sib (Arabic: السيب‎) is a coastal fishing city, located several kilometres northwest of Muscat, in northeastern Oman. As of the 2003 census, it had a population of 221,115.Landmarks include the Naseem Garden, the Royal Stables and Equestrian Centre, Royal Guard of Oman Technical College, the Bait al Baraka palace, Seeb International Airport and Markaz al Bahja.

Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex

The Sultan Qaboos Stadium at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex (Arabic: مجمع السلطان قابوس الرياضي‎) also known locally as, Boshar (Arabic: بوشر‎), is a government owned multi-purpose stadium in the Boshar district of Muscat, Oman. It is currently used mostly for football matches, and also has facilities for athletics. The stadium originally had a capacity of over 40,000, but after recent renovations the capacity was reduced to 34,000 people. It is the home stadium of the Oman national football team. The Qaboos Stadium was used as the main stadium in the recent, 2009 Gulf Cup of Nations,

and was also used in the past 1996 Gulf Cup competition. The Complex has strong security, in addition to over 10,000 parking slots.

The stadium will host the 2018 Asian Men's Hockey Champions Trophy.

Sémillon

Sémillon is a golden-skinned grape used to make dry and sweet white wines, mostly in France and Australia. Its thin skin and susceptibility to botrytis make it dominate the sweet wine region Sauternes AOC and Barsac AOC.

Tamjanika

Tamjanika or Temjanika is a type of grape, a variety of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, grown in Serbia and Macedonia. It is named after tamjan (frankincense), due to intense scent from ripe grapes, which can be sensed several metres away. Berries are small, very dark purple, almost perfect balls. It ripens in mid September.

Tamjanika is used to produce white wines of intense fruit aroma and taste. It has characteristic Muscat notes of cinnamon, elder plant, basil, pineapple and strawberry. Red Tamjanika is a rarity, but of exceptional quality.

Climate data for Muscat
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 34.6
(94.3)
38.2
(100.8)
41.5
(106.7)
44.9
(112.8)
48.3
(118.9)
48.5
(119.3)
49.1
(120.4)
49.2
(120.6)
47.2
(117.0)
43.6
(110.5)
39.4
(102.9)
37.8
(100.0)
49.2
(120.6)
Average high °C (°F) 25.5
(77.9)
26.1
(79.0)
29.8
(85.6)
34.7
(94.5)
39.5
(103.1)
40.4
(104.7)
38.6
(101.5)
36.2
(97.2)
36.3
(97.3)
35.0
(95.0)
30.5
(86.9)
27.1
(80.8)
33.3
(92.0)
Daily mean °C (°F) 21.3
(70.3)
21.9
(71.4)
25.2
(77.4)
29.8
(85.6)
34.2
(93.6)
35.2
(95.4)
34.3
(93.7)
32.0
(89.6)
31.4
(88.5)
29.7
(85.5)
25.7
(78.3)
22.6
(72.7)
28.6
(83.5)
Average low °C (°F) 17.3
(63.1)
17.6
(63.7)
20.7
(69.3)
24.7
(76.5)
29.1
(84.4)
30.6
(87.1)
30.4
(86.7)
28.4
(83.1)
27.5
(81.5)
24.9
(76.8)
20.9
(69.6)
18.9
(66.0)
24.3
(75.7)
Record low °C (°F) 1.6
(34.9)
2.3
(36.1)
7.0
(44.6)
10.3
(50.5)
17.2
(63.0)
21.6
(70.9)
23.5
(74.3)
21.3
(70.3)
19.0
(66.2)
14.3
(57.7)
9.4
(48.9)
4.5
(40.1)
1.6
(34.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 12.8
(0.50)
24.5
(0.96)
15.9
(0.63)
17.1
(0.67)
7.0
(0.28)
0.9
(0.04)
0.2
(0.01)
0.8
(0.03)
0.0
(0.0)
1.0
(0.04)
6.8
(0.27)
13.3
(0.52)
100.3
(3.95)
Average relative humidity (%) 63 64 58 45 42 49 60 67 63 55 60 65 58
Mean monthly sunshine hours 268.6 244.8 278.3 292.5 347.4 325.7 277.7 278.6 303.9 316.9 291.9 267.0 3,493.3
Source: NOAA [30]
Capitals of Asia
Capitals of Arab countries

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