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Mus­cat (Ara­bic: مسقط, , Por­tuguese: Mas­cate) is the cap­i­tal of Oman. It is also the seat of gov­ern­ment and largest city in the Gov­er­norate of Mus­cat. Accord­ing to the Nation­al Cen­tre for Sta­tis­tics and Infor­ma­tion (NCSI), the total pop­u­la­tion of Mus­cat Gov­er­norate reached 1.2 mil­lion as of April 2014. The met­ro­pol­i­tan area spans approx­i­mate­ly 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, Por­tuguese Empire 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, the Balochs and Gujaratis. 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. 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 and porting.