Ormus is introduced in the Brave New World expansion pack.
Musical Theme: Middle Eastern
Architecture: Middle Eastern
The city-state of Ormus dates back to the 10th century AD when Arab princes sought to establish a port off the south coast of Persia to control trade through the Persian Gulf. The city dominates the narrow Strait of Hormuz, the strategic waterway linking the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. Ormus grew immensely rich by being the crucial stage on the slave routes from East Africa into Persia and Arabia. At the zenith of its influence in the 14th century, it was the most powerful maritime state in the region, with a large commercial fleet and a navy of 500 warships.
In 1505 AD, King Manuel I of Portugal decided to block Muslim trade with India. Afonso de Albuquerque took his ships into the gulf in 1507, captured the island of Hormuz, built a fort there, and claimed the city of Ormus for Portugal. In March 1515 Albuquerque returned with a fleet of 27 vessels, 1500 soldiers with cannons to insure that the city remained under Portuguese rule. The city became known for its licentiousness and guilty pleasures, according to accounts by Portuguese visitors and priests. The luxury and leisure of Ormus is captured in an Arab saying of the time: "If all the world were a golden ring, Ormus would be the jewel in it."
Although largely bypassed by maritime routes for three centuries after, the discovery of oil in the Persian Gulf and Middle East again gave the city a new role in world trade. In 2011 AD, 35% of the world's seaborne oil shipments passed by the city. The Iranian Revolution that disposed the absolute monarchy in favor of an Islamic fundamentalist republic under the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979 only heightened the city's strategic significance, as the new government proved hostile to the Western powers.