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Bandar Abbas

[buhn-der uh-bahs]

Bandar Abbas or Bandar-e ‘Abbās (in Persian: بندر عباس; formerly known as Gombroon to English traders and Gamrun to Dutch merchants) is a port city and capital of Hormozgān Province on the southern coast of Iran (Persia), on the Persian Gulf. The city occupies a strategic position on the narrow Straits of Hormuz, and it is the location of the main base of the Iranian Navy. It had an estimated population of 352,173 in 2005.

History and etymology

Bandar Abbas has always been a port, and as such its various names have all addressed this function. The most common name over time (Gameroon) has traditionally been said to derive from Persian gümrük, customhouse (from Late Greek kommerkion, from Latin commercium, "commerce"), but is now speculated to be from Persian kamrūn, shrimp (which in Portuguese is camarão, similar to the former Portuguese name).

Ancient history

The earliest record of Bandar Abbas is during the reign of Darius the Great (between 586 and 522 B.C.). Darius's commander, Silacus, embarked from Bandar Abbas to India which is now present Pakistan and the Red Sea

During Alexander's conquest of the Persian Empire, Bandar Abbas was known under the name of Hormirzad.

Descendants of Gameronians

In the year 630 CE, Maharaja Derbar Raja of Gemeron was defeated in battle and escaped to Ceylon, and he was later blown off course by a storm to the remote shores of Kuala Sungai Qilah, Kedah (now Malaysia). The inhabitants of Kedah found him to be a valiant and intelligent person, and they made him the king of Kedah. In the year 634 CE, a new kingdom was formed in Kedah consisting of Persian royalty and native Malay of Hindu faith, the capital was Langkasuka. (see Kedah Sultanate and Early history of Kedah)

The Renaissance and Enlightenment

By the 1500s, Bandar Abbas was known as Gamrūn to the Persians. In 1565, a European navigator called it Bamdel Gombruc (that is, Bandar Gümrük, or "Customhouse Port"), citing this as the Persian and Turkish name. In 1612, the Portuguese took the city from Lorestān and transliterated the name to Comorão.

Almost two years later (in 1615), Comorão was taken by ‘Abbās the Great after a naval battle with the Portuguese and renamed Bandar-e ‘Abbās, or "Port of ‘Abbās". Backed by the British navy, ‘Abbās developed Bandar-e ‘Abbās (known to the English-speaking world as Gombraun) into a major port.

By 1622, the Portuguese and English names had been officially combined to form Combrù or Combu, although the inhabitants still called it Bandar-e ‘Abbās. Sir Thomas Herbert said the official English name was Gumbrown, but pronounced "gŏmrōōn". He wrote in 1630 that "some (but I commend them not) write it Gamrou, others Gomrow, and othersome Cummeroon."

By the 1670s, the city was known as 'Gameroon

From 1740 onward, control of the town was sold to various Arab rulers, and from c. 1780 it was controlled by Muscat (now a governorate of Oman). In 1868, during Oman's decline, the town reverted to Persian rule.

Modern history

In the 1980s, the name "Gameron" was changed in favor of "Bandar Abbas", following similar movements with Iranian names (see Iran naming dispute).

Bandar Abbas serves as a major shipping point for mostly imports, and has a long history of trade with India. Thousands of tourists visit the city and nearby islands including Qeshm and Hormuz every year.


Bandar Abbas is situated on flat ground with an average altitude of 9 m (30 ft) above sea level. The nearest elevated areas are Mt. Geno, 17 km (11 mi) to the north, and Mt. Pooladi, 16 km (10 mi) to the northwest of the city. The closest river to Bandar Abbas is the River Shoor, which is rooted from Mt. Geno and pours into the Persian Gulf, 10 km (6 mi) east of the city.


Bandar Abbas has a hot and humid climate. Maximum temperature in summers can reach up to 49 °C (120 °F) while in winters the minimum temperature drops to about 5 °C (40 °F). The annual rainfall is around 251 mm (1 in) and the relative humidity is 66%.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
minimum average temperature (°F) 53.8 57.2 63.5 69.6 76.5 82.4 86.5 86.2 81.9 74.3 64.4 56.3
maximum average temperature (°F) 74.3 75.9 81.9 88.9 97.3 101.1 100.8 99.9 98.2 95 86.7 77.9
rainfall (in inches) 1.56 1.87 1.37 0.42 0.19 0 0.02 0.09 0.03 0.05 0.2 0.94
days of rain 3.3 3.1 2.6 1.3 0.2 0 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.4 2.3
Source : World Meteorological Organization


Bandar Abbas International Airport has capacity and facilities for landing large transport airplanes.


Bandar Abbas is accessible via the following highways:

  • Bandar Abbas-Sirjan, 300 km (186 mi) to the northeast.
  • Bandar Abbas-Kerman, 484 km (301 mi) to the northeast.
  • Bandar Abbas-Shiraz, 650 km (404 mi) to the north.
  • Bandar Abbas-Zahedan, 722 km (449 mi) to the east.


Original Bandaris (residents of Bandar Abbas) speak Bandari (بندری), a dialect of Persian. Bandari may be similar to Middle Persian and Balochi. Bandari has loanwords from various European languages (e.g. tawāl, "towel") and Arabic (e.g. atā [اتا], "to come").



  • Transit goods, dates, citrus, tobacco, fishery; Bandar Abbas was formerly famous for its export of Iranian pottery, known as "gombroon".


# Bandar Abbas University of Medical Sciences
# University of Hormozgan
# Islamic Azad University of Bandar Abbas

See also


External links

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