/mus kat"/, n.a seaport in and the capital of Oman. 70,000. Arabic, Masqat.
* * *or MasqatCity (pop., 1993: city, 40,900; 1999 est.: metro. area, 887,000), capital of Oman, located on the Gulf of Oman.Situated on a cove surrounded by volcanic mountains, it came under Persian control in the 6th century BC, and the people of the region were converted to Islam in the 7th century AD. The Portuguese gained control in 1508 and made Muscat their Arabian headquarters (1622–48). Held again by the Persians (1650–1741), it later became part of the sultanate of Oman. Two 16th-century Portuguese forts overlook the town; the sultan's Indian-style palace is built at the edge of the sea.
* * *▪ OmanArabic Masqaṭtown, capital of Oman, located on the Gulf of Oman coast. The town long gave its name to the country, which was called Muscat and Oman until 1970. Situated on a cove surrounded by volcanic mountains, the town is connected by road to the west and the south. In 1508 the Portuguese gained control of Muscat and the adjacent coast. Until driven out in 1650, they maintained a trading post and naval base there. Two 16th-century Portuguese forts overlook the town. Muscat's old wall, as well as some of its gates, still stand. The town's unusual architecture shows Arab, Portuguese, Persian, Indian, African, and modern Western influences. The sultan's Indian-style palace is built at the edge of the sea. Muscat is the site of a national museum. Commercial activity is centred around Maṭraḥ, just to the west. Pop. (2003) 24,893; urban agglom., 632,073.
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