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History of Port Sultan Qaboos

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Port Sultan Qaboos – History

The Sultanate of Oman is a sea-faring nation from time memorial given its geography and location. The country is flanked in the north by the Gulf of Oman, in the east & south by the Arabian Sea and in the west by United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Historically, the nation’s contact with the rest of the world is by sea that links it to foreign lands as well as the coastal towns of Oman. From time immemorial the ports in Oman have always been the important trade destinations for the sailors traversing the silk route. The nation’s history is intertwined with the history of its ports.

During the reign of Sayyid Sultan bin Ahmed in the 18th century, Oman's trading activity again increased and the capital area's two harbors - Muscat & Mutrah - diversified, Mutrah was quickly established as a commercial port while Muscat was used for naval operations.

The ruler's son Sayyid Said continued to expand maritime commerce although it again went into decline after his death in 1856. Maritime activity was limited to the import of essential items, mainly from India by old-style wooden dhows. Ships had to anchor offshore and sometimes wait for days before cargo could be unloaded manually into small boats.

This was all to change with the accession of HM Sultan Qaboos bin Said who inaugurated a new era of maritime commerce and prosperity in Oman when His Majesty established Mina Qaboos (now Port Sultan Qaboos) in 1974.

Port Sultan Qaboos – At the Heart of Oman’s Maritime History