Muscat, the capital and largest city of the Sultanate of Oman, is only a small part of a larger grouping of cities and towns strung some 40kms along the coast of the Gulf of Oman, known as the Capital Area or the Muscat Municipality. The city referred as Muscat in fact consists of three cities – walled city Muscat with its royal palace, former fishing village Matrah (Matruh), and commercial and diplomacy modern center Ruwi. The stripe of the build-up area lining up along the sea is bounced by very rocky mountain at the North and primeval-looking barren area of mountains on the South.
Muscat is exceptionally green city if you look at the surrounding desert-like landscape. The main streets are lined with palm trees, grass areas, shrubs, and flowers decoration. It’s one of the oldest cities in the Middle East. It has been known since the second century AD. The first European in Muscat was Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who landed in Oman on his way to India.
The economy is dominated by trade. The traditional export items included dates, mother of pearl, and fish. Many of the souks of Muttrah still sell these items together with traditional Omani artifacts.