The historic port of Muscat is situated in a small bay encircled by jagged cliffs. The greater Capital Area extends from Muscat and its sister port at Muttrah to the former fishering settlement of Seeb, where the international airport is situated, 60 kilometers away.
The region known today as the ”Capital Area” covers a length of 60 kilometers from As Seeb in the west to the Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa in the east. The built-up areas are bounded to the north by the coastline and to the south by the Hajar mountains, whose cliffs reach to the sea in the east. In a small bay, boxed in by sheer cliff-faces, is the historic port of Muscat which has lent its name to the whole area (from the Arabic masqat, place of anchorage).
Up to 1970, together with Muttrah, situated in the adjoining bay, and a few small, insignificant oases, this was the only inhabited part of the current Capital Area. After the change of government, the area was developed at breakneck speed from a desert landscape with bays and cliffs to a modern capital city.