Bandar Abbas or Bandar-e ‘Abbās, also romanized as Bandar ‘Abbās, Bandar ‘Abbāsī; formerly known as Cambarão and Porto Comorão to Portuguese traders, as Gombroon to English traders and as Gamrun or Gumrun to Dutch merchants, is a port city and capital of Hormozgān Province on the southern coast of Iran, on the Persian Gulf, The city occupies a strategic position on the narrow Strait of Hormuz, and it is the location of the main base of the Iranian Navy. Bandar Abbas is also the capital and largest city of Bandar Abbas County. At the 2006 census, its population was 367,508, with 89,404 families.
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).
The earliest record of Bandar Abbas is during the reign of Darius the Great (between 586 and 522 BCE). Darius’s commander, Silacus, embarked from Bandar Abbas to India and the Red Sea.
During Alexander’s conquest of the Persian Empire, Bandar Abbas was known under the name of Hormirzad.
In 1622 CE Shah Abbas defeated Portuguese troops with the help of British troops and Iranian commander Imam Quli Khan. In honor of this victory Gumbroon was renamed Bandar Abbas Port. In the current division of Bandar Abbas in Hormozgan province and one of the most important strategic and commercial center is in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf and Oman Sea.
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi paid particular attention to Bandar Abbas as a strategic port and during his time the government invested huge amounts of capital in the infrastructure.
Bandar Abbas serves as a major shipping point, mostly for imports, and has a long history of trade with India, particularly the port of Surat. Thousands of tourists visit the city and nearby islands including Qeshm and Hormuz every year.
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 450,000 (2011 estimate).