Muscat / Oman
Muscat (also called Mascat), is the capital of Oman on the gulf by the same name. The name means place of falling, meaning an anchorage or because of the steeply sloping mountains. The port district is dominated by the palace of the sultan of Oman. The Mina al-Fahal oil port can be called at by supertankers. The city has nearly 600,000 inhabitants. In the 6th century BC Muscat fell to the Persians. About the time under Portuguese rule (1508 to 1650) remind two mountain festivals.
Toward the end of the 19th century, the city was surrounded by a 4.5 m high wall through which only two gates led and was just like the port still protected by forts, towers and fortifications. The interior contained narrow, crooked, and dirty streets; from the time of the Portuguese, a few churches used as storage were preserved. At that time, the city was the seat of an important sea trade and a place of storage for export to Persia. Since 1970, Muscat has been greatly expanded in the course of the modernization of the country and has become the most important industrial center in the country. The old town of Muscat is flashy, bustling and full of life. The port of Mattrah has one of the most beautiful souks in the country. In the sultan's mosque lies the largest carpet in the world. The sultan of Oman gave the state Iran Carpet Company (Shekhar Shahimi Farz) in 1996 the task to deliver a hand-knotted carpet in the huge dimensions of 70.50 mx 60.90 m = 4,293.45 square meters for the newly erected central mosque of his country. There was unfortunately nothing to find out about the price, which was certainly hovering in the highest price ranges.