Cities of Iran

Bandar Abbas
The capital of Hormozgan province


A view of Bandar Abbas from the sea
Bandar Abbas (previously called Gameron or Qamerun) is the capital of Hormozagan province, located in southern Iran. Bandar Abbas Port is in the middle of the Strait of Hormoz linking the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman, and is located 500km to the south of Kerman connected by excellent road and Railroad. It has an international airport with regular flights to other states of Persian Gulf.

Bandar Abbas was named after the Shah Abbas I the Great of Safavid dynasty who founded the port in 1623 after his naval victory over the Portuguese.

During the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), Bandar Abbas was developed as the country's major commercial port to replace Khorramshahr, which lies at the northern end of the Persian Gulf and which had been captured and occupied by Iraqi forces.

Indian Temple in Bandar Abbas
By the 1990s, about 75 percent of Iranian imports through the Persian Gulf were off-loaded at Bandar Abbas. Next to the berths for international cargo ships there are docks for local fishing industry, a large shipyard for repairing and building ships, and naval facilities.

Bandar Abbas's major industries include textile, fishing, oil refinery, aluminum and steel. This city has mining products like chromium, red oxide, salt, and sulfur, which are mainly for export. A major natural gas field surrounds the offshore island of Hengam, and another nearby island, Qeshm, has been developed as a free trade zone.

As the provincial capital, Bandar Abbas is also a local administrative center for several central government agencies and offices. The city is connected to Tehran and the rest of the country by air, rail, and road routes. Bandar Abbas is a modern city with few public tourist sites, although its bazaar is a popular attraction for shoppers. The island of Qeshm, across from Bandar Abbas in the Strait of Hormoz, has several old mosques, shrines, and cemeteries.

From 1793 to 1868, Iran leased Bandar Abbas to Oman. Bandar Abbas was a small fishing port of about 17,000 people in 1955, prior to initial plans to develop it as a major harbor. By 2001, it had grown into a major city. It has a population of 360,280 (2001 estimate).