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Nizwa, the former capital of Oman, is currently the largest city in the Ad Dakhiliyah Region. The city has approximately 72,000 inhabitants and is one of the oldest cities in Oman. Nizwa is known as a historic center of trade, art and culture. Its grand mosque used to be an important center for Islamic teaching. Set in the midst of a lush spread of date palms, Nizwa is located at the crossroads of several strategic routes and serves as an important link between Muscat and the rest of the country. Today, Nizwa is seen as a prosperous desert tourist destination with numerous agricultural, historical and recreational sights.