About Oman

About Oman

Under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said- May God Protect him, The Government of Oman, has initiated the construction, development and upgrading of Commercial and Industrial Maritime Ports. Some of these ports have and are being upgraded in order for them to play their role more efficiently and effectively in order to serve the Vision, laws and regulations of the Sultanate of Oman.

The Government, overseas the Management and Operations of these seaports as per the Laws and Maritime regulations stipulated in Oman.

Oman is also in the panel of communication with other countries in the world thru conventions, international treaties and regional cooperation pertaining to maritime safety and security. This is to promote Maritime transport sector and safety of shipping lines in Omani Ports and maritime limits.

Maritime History of Oman

Sea navigation is known to have been practiced by Omani sea farers since the most ancient ages, before the fourth millennium BC. Their efforts coincided with the prosperity of trade activity in the civilizations of Trigris & Euphrates Rivers and River Nile.

Sumerians named Oman as Majan which was prosperous during the emergence of Assyrian state and during the era of second Babylonian regime. The Phoenicians on other hand shared ancient Omanis a great deal of similarities as both were great sea farers. It is claimed that the Phoenicians established the town of Sur on the eastern coast, and used it as a commercial port to receive vessels coming from Africa and India.

At the dawn of Islam, Omanis had already acquired fame as skillful capable seamen and greatly contributed in the widespread of Islam during its early conquests. Sohar and Daba; the two main ports at that time, became military supply bases, in addition to being points for launching campaigns by Muslim armies during Beni Omayyah Reign.

Imam Ghassan Bin Abdullah (807-824 AD) is renowned for being the first Omani ruler who ordered ships being built particularly for naval wars against pirates sailing in barges in the Gulf.

Upon the arrival of Portuguese to Indian Ocean and the Gulf in the sixteenth century, Oman lost grip on the trade routes to the east after their towns were looted and sabotaged. However, Imam Nasser Bin Murshid, his cousin Sultan bin Saif and their successors of Al-Ya'ariba Imams managed to build a big strong naval force composed of modern warships of European designs. The force was strong enough to challenge the Portuguese and drive them out of their strongholds and away from Oman for good. After cleansing Oman, the naval force was deployed to the West of the Indian Ocean, Persia, the Gulf and East Africa to oust the Portuguese.

In 1749 AD, Imam Ahmed bin Said became the Imam (Ruler) of Oman and his first priority was to rebuild the Omani Navy that was gradually deteriorating over a period of time. The fleet consisted of 4 ships each equipped with 40 guns, in addition to 25 locally made boats.

In the nineteenth century, Sayyid Said bin Sultan managed to build the largest fleet ever in Oman. By 1805 there were 4 frigates, 4 corvettes, 2 single sail ships, 7 vast vessels and 20 merchandise armed ships. He also dispatched a number of ships on diplomatic and commercial missions to America and Europe, such as the Omani vessel Sultanah, which sailed to New York on 30 April 1804 carrying Ahmed bin Al-Noman; the first Arab envoy to America.

The ruler of Mombasa; an Omani territory at the time, sailed on board of Sultanah to London in 1842 as an ambassador to Queen Victoria. Furthermore, the Omani vessel Carolin equipped with 26 guns visited Marseelia in 1849.