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The Makran region surrounding Gwadar was occupied by unknown Bronze age people who settled in the few oases. It later became the Gedrosia region of the Achaemenid Persian empire. The region is believed to have been conquered by the founder of the Persian empire, Cyrus the Great. The capital of the satrapy Gedrosia was Pura, thought to have been located near modern Bampur, in modern Iranian Balochistan. During the homeward march of Alexander the Great, his admiral Nearchus led a fleet along the modern Makran coast and recorded that the area was dry and mountainous, inhabited by the Ichthyophagoi or Fish eaters – a Greek rendering of the ancient Persian phrase Mahi khoran, which has become the modern word Makran.Gwadar’s location and history have given it a unique blend of inhabitants. The Arab influence on Gwadar is strong due to Omani rule and the close proximity of Arab regions. The presence of the Omani slave trade is felt in the town with people descended from African slaves who passed through the town. The area also has remarkable religious diversity, being home to Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Qadianis, Parsis and other minor Islamic sects. Among the most important religious sects is the Zikri sect, a faith that about half of Gwadar’s inhabitants.

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