An independent State in South-eastern Arabia extendingalong a coast line— S.E. and S. W.—of almost 1,000 miles from the Gulf of Ormuz and inland to the deserts. Area, 82,000 square miles; population, estimated at 500,000, chiefly Arabs, but there is a strong infusion of negro blood. The capital, Maskat and the adjacent town of Mattra have together about 24,000 inhabitants. Maskat was occupied by the Portuguese from 1508 to the middle of the seventeenth century. After various vicissitudes it was recovered in the eighteenth century by Ahmed bin Sa’eed, of Yemenite origin, who was elected Imam in 1741, and whose family have since ruled.