Muscat, the capital of Oman, is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat. In fact Muscat is three smaller towns which have grown together over time. The first is Muscat, often referred to as the "walled city". Then, Matrah, originally a fishing village, is the home to the maze-like Matrah Souq. And the last one is Ruwi, which is generally considered the commercial and diplomatic centre of the city.
As an important port-town, 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 developed rapidly and has led to the growth of a vibrant economy and a multi-ethnic society.