Muscat (Arabic: مَسْقَط, Masqaṭ pronounced [ˈmasqatˤ]) is the capital city and is the most populated city in Oman. It is the seat of the Governorate of Muscat. According to the National Centre for Statistics and Information (NCSI), the total population of Muscat Governorate was 1.4 million as of September 2018. The metropolitan area spans approximately 3,500 km2 (1,400 sq mi) and includes six provinces called wilayat. Known since the early 1st century AD 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, the Portuguese Empire, the Iberian Union 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 and the Balochis.
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