District Area: Unsure
Leader: Sultan Qaboos
Name and Etymology:
Muscat was mentioned by Ptolemy and perhaps by Pliny the Elder (as Amithoscuta). While the meaning of the name is debated, consensus hovers around "anchorage."
Old Town Muscat is relatively small and separated from the rest of the capital city, and as such, its main economic activities include supporting the Sultan's palace, fishing, and tourism.
Muscat is an ancient settlement first known by the Sumerians and became a center for trade between Arabia, Persia, India, and Africa. It became Muslim in the 7th Century and was captured by the Portuguese in 1507. The Portuguese built two forts in Muscat harbor, but the settlement was contested by the Ottomans twice in the 16th Century. Muscat was captured by Omanis in 1650 and became a focal point for conflict with tribes from the interior of the country in a series of civil wars, the most recent ending in 1970 when the British helped the current sultan gain the throne. Muscat is the capital of Oman.