One of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and noted for its cool desert climate, Damascus is the capital for the Syrian Arab Republic.
One little-known landmark in Damascus is also the world’s largest restaurant: the Damascus Gate Restaurant. Including both indoor and outdoor seating, the Damascus Gate Restaurant has a total 6,014 seats and covers 215,277.4 square feet (20,000 square meters). According to Guinness World Records, seating is available seven days a week with the exception of the outdoor restaurant area from November through January.
Based on The Economist’s Global Liveability Ranking released on August 16, 2017, Damascus is the world’s least liveable city among 140 cities studied. In the study, Damascus scored poorly for stability, health care, infrastructure and education.
Syria exported US$731.5 million worth of goods around the globe in 2016. Syria’s highest-value exports are fresh apples, cumin seeds, copper cathodes, natural calcium phosphates, coriander seeds, virgin olive oil and pistachios according to the latest estimates from the International Trade Centre.
Capital Facts for Damascus, Syria: Quick Reference
Capital landmarks: Umayyad Mosque, Souq al-Hamidiyyeh street market, Old City and the Fortress Wall
Below, you will find 10 of the most famous people born in Damascus, Syria:
- Bashar al-Assad, president (born Sep. 11, 1965)
- Ghassan Massoud, actor & filmmaker (born Sep. 20, 1958)
- Assala Nasri, singer (born May 15, 1969)
- Naser Khader, Danish politician (born Jul. 1, 1963)
- Heba Nour, actress (born Jul. 11, 1987)
- Ziad H. Hamzeh, film director & producer (born Jan. 22, 1959)
- Abbas Al-Noury, actor (born Dec. 8, 1952)
- Wael Sharaf, actor (born Jul. 15, 1977)
- Ghada al-Samman, journalist & novelist (born 1942)
- Kinan Azmeh, jazz fusion clarinetist (born Jun. 10, 1976)
Note: Data for our Famous People tab was sourced from Google searches mostly targeting published Wikipedia articles specific to each person’s name.
Demonym for a Damascus resident: Damascene
Population: 2,605,000 (Damascus built-up urban area)
Density: 37,214 people per square mile (14,369 per square kilometer)
Population: 17,185,170 (Syria)
Density: 242 people per square mile (94 per square kilometer)
GDP: US$55.8 billion in 2014 (for Syria, per CIA World Factbook)
GDP per person: $5,100
Note: The above country-level GDP metrics are on a Purchasing Power Parity basis and are in U.S. dollars. Credible city GDP statistics for Damascus were unavailable.
Official currency used in Damascus: Syrian pound
Brookings Institution, Global Metro Monitor Report (includes GDP data). Accessed on December 3, 2016
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Field Listing: Major Urban Areas. Accessed on December 3, 2016
Central Intelligence Agency, World Factbook, Middle East: Syria. Accessed on February 7, 2017
CityMetric, Where are largest cities in the world? 2015 edition. Accessed on December 3, 2016
Demographia, World Urban Area, 12th Annual Edition. Accessed on December 3, 2016
Guinness World Records, Largest restaurant. Accessed on February 7, 2017
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on August 1, 2017
Official Website, Damascus, Syria (Embassy of the United States. Accessed on December 3, 2016
The Economist, The Global Liveability Ranking. Accessed on August 24, 2017
Wikimedia Commons, City Flags. Accessed on December 3, 2016
Note: Some city flags were unavailable. If so, attribution belongs to Wikimedia Commons for pertinent country flags.
Wikipedia, Damascus. Accessed on December 3, 2016
Wikipedia, Syria. Accessed on February 7, 2017
World Population Review, Population of Cities in Syria (2016). Accessed on December 3, 2016
The city perimeter for Damascus contains 41 square miles (105 square kilometers) and was home to roughly 1.6 million people in 2016, although Syrian people counts must be seen as approximations given the ongoing civil war that trumps more scientific statistical analysis.
Including its surrounding territory, the built-up urban area including Damascus city proper occupies 70 square miles (181 square kilometers). An estimated 2.6 million inhabitants live within Damascus’s built-up urban area.
At the country level, Syria’s land area covers 70,900 square miles (183,630 square kilometers). The national population count was 17.2 million inhabitants as of July 2016.
Population density is modestly higher within Syria’s capital city limits with an average 38,600 Damascenes per square mile (14,900 per square kilometer).
After factoring in the built-up urban area including Damascus city, the overall density slightly dilutes to an average 37,200 people per square mile (14,400 per square kilometer).
For Syria overall, population density drops to an average 250 inhabitants per square mile (100 per square kilometer).
Syria exited from the League of Nations mandate under French administration on April 17, 1946. Syrians celebrate Independence Day each April 17.