Clockwise from top: Shah Amanat Bridge, Port of Chittagong, Court House, Bhatiary Lake, Commonwealth War Cemetery, Chittagong Circuit House, Cheragee Pahar Circle, Karnaphuli channel
|Nickname(s): The Gateway of Bangladesh, Commercial Capital of Bangladesh|
|Granted city status||1863|
|• Body||Chittagong City Corporation|
|• City Mayor||M. Manzur Alam|
|• Metropolitan City||168.07 km2 (64.89 sq mi)|
|• Metropolitan City||6,500,000|
|Time zone||BST (UTC+6)|
|Website||Chittagong City Corporation|
Chittagong // (Bengali: চট্টগ্রাম Bengali pronunciation: [tʃɔʈʈɔgram]: Porto Grande De Bengala; Mughal Islamabad) is the second most populous city and main seaport of Bangladesh. It is a major commercial, financial and industrial hub. Located on the Karnaphuli River, it is the administrative seat of Chittagong District and Chittagong Division (the largest division of Bangladesh). The metropolitan area has a population of 4 million residents. The city straddles hilly terrain and faces the Bay of Bengal.
Chittagong has a recorded history dating back more than a millennium. Arabs traded with its port since the 9th-century. It was visited by numerous historic world travellers, such as Ibn Battuta and Niccolo De Conti, as well as the Chinese Imperial Treasure Fleet. It gained prominence as a Portuguese trading center during the 16th-century. Under British rule, it was a divisional capital in the Bengal Presidency and the headquarters of the Assam Bengal Railway. The Port of Chittagong developed during the late 19th-century. It was a major gateway for the tea, rice, jute and oil trade in the region. The city and its airport were a vital base for American and British forces during the Burma Campaign in World War II. After the Partition of British India in 1947, Chittagong became the chief port of East Pakistan. During the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, the declaration of Bangladesh's independence was proclaimed from Chittagong.
The city is home to many of Bangladesh's oldest and largest companies, as well as the Chittagong Stock Exchange and the Chittagong Tea Auction. It is a hub of logistics and heavy industry. The Asian University for Women is based in the city; as are major public universities, including Chittagong University, the Chittagong Medical College and Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology. Important landmarks include the colonial Divisional Court, the Circuit House, Foy's Lake, the Commonwealth War Cemetery, the Ethnological Museum of Chittagong, the Anderkilla Imperial Jame Mosque, historic Sufi shrines, the Chittagong Buddhist Monastery and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chittagong.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography and climate
- 4 Civic administration
- 5 Economy
- 6 Culture
- 7 Sufism in Chittagong
- 8 Demographics
- 9 Military
- 10 Media and communications
- 11 Utilities
- 12 Education
- 13 Health
- 14 Transport
- 15 Sports
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Chittagong is the romanized name of the city. The city has various recorded Bengali names, including Chattagram, Chattagaon, Chattala, Chativavo, Chaityabhumi and Chatgaon. To the Arabs, who had frequented the port for centuries, it was long known as Shetgang, a term that evolved from the Arabic words Shatt (delta) and Ganga (Ganges). Ma Huan, a Chinese treasure voyager in the 14th century, transliterated it into Mandarin as Cheh-ti-gan. Many scholars contend that Chittagong is the legendary city of Bengala, that was written in European chronicles during the Age of Discovery. The Arakanese refer to the city with the phrase tsi tsi gong, which means "the war that should never be fought". According to legend, an invading Arakanese king refrained from attacking the city after he was impressed by its nature.
The term "Chati" refers to the calling of the adhan by Muslim imams from hilltops with lamps. The hills are at the core of Chittagonian heritage and identity, and the city's recorded name of Chati-gaon is derived from this tradition.
The excavation of stone age fossils and tools in Sitakunda indicate the presence of Neolithic settlements in Chittagong District as early as the third millennium BCE. The region was chronicled by Greek and Roman geographers. In the 2nd century, Claudius Ptolemy mentioned the port on his map as one of the finest harbours in the Eastern World. Xuanzang, an ancient Chinese traveler, visited the region in the 7th century, describing it as "a sleeping beauty arising from mists and water". The region formed part of the ancient Bengali Buddhist kingdoms of Harikela and Samatata. According to Tibetan chronicles, the Buddhist king Govindachandra established his capital in Chittagong. He also built a great Buddhist monastery. According to several historical records, the Buddhist sage Tilopa was born in Chittagong. In 1231, the region was seized by the Deva dynasty under the reign of Damodaradeva.
Islam spread to the Bengal as early as the 8th century, brought by the earliest Muslim missionaries traversing the Silk Road. Arab and Persian merchants established trading posts in Chittagong during the 9th century. Arab historians named the port as Shetgang and described it as the gateway of Bengal. Writing in 1154, Al-Idrisi recorded that merchants from Baghdad and Basra regularly traveled to the region. In the following centuries, Sufism played an instrumental role in the rooting of Islam in Chittagong.
Sultan Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah of Sonargaon conquered Chittagong in 1340. The settlement of Muslim merchants, bureaucrats and soldiers led the historic Port of Chittagong to flourish in trade. The region was an important trading center of pearls, rice, silk, muslin, spices and ivory. Chittagong was the southeastern terminus of the Grand Trunk Road. It was a major port on the Maritime Silk Road. The Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta visited the city in 1443 and sailed from the port to Canton in China. The Italian merchant Niccolò de' Conti visited the city around the same time as Battuta. In the mid-15th century, the Chinese Treasure Fleet of Admiral Zheng He anchored in the port during numerous imperial missions to the Sultanate of Bengal. The Ottoman Empire utilized the shipyards of Chittagong to build its naval forces. After the defeat of Mahmud Shah at the hands of Sher Shah in 1538, the Arakanese Kingdom of Mrauk U conquered Chittagong. The Portuguese established merchant communities on the banks of the Karnaphuli in 1528. In collusion with Magh pirates and the Arakanese, Portuguese traders dominated the area for more than a century. The Mughal commander Shayestha Khan and his son Buzurg Umed Khan expelled the Arakanese from the area in 1666 and established Mughal rule there. After the Arakanese expulsion, Islamabad, as the area came to be known, economically progressed. This can mainly be attributed to an efficient system of land-grants to selected diwans or faujdars to clear massive areas of hinterland and start cultivation. The Mughals, similar to the Afghans who came earlier, also built mosques having a rich contribution to the architecture in the area.[clarification needed] What is called Chittagong today also began to have improved connections with the rest of Mughal Bengal.
In 1685, the British East India Company sent out an expedition under Admiral Nicholson with instructions to seize Chittagong and fortify it on behalf of the English but the expedition proved abortive. Two years later, the Court of Directors, determined to make Chittagong the headquarters of their Bengal trade, sent out a fleet of ten or eleven ships to seize it under Captain Heath. However, after reaching Chittagong in early 1689, they found the city too strongly held and abandoned the attempt. The city remained under the possession of the Mughals until 1760 when it was ceded to the East India Company by Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal.
There were a number of rebellions in Chittagong against British rule, notably on 18 November 1857 when the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th companies of the 34th Bengal Infantry Regiment stationed at Chittagong rebelled and released all the prisoners from jail but were suppressed by the Kuki scouts and the Sylhet Light Infantry (10th Gurkha Rifles).
The Port of Chittagong was developed from the 19th-century, alongside the development of the Assam Bengal Railway. The port was jointly administered with railway authorities, and it became an important trading point for the exports of jute, rice, tea and oil.
Chittagong grew at the beginning of the twentieth century after the partition of Bengal and the creation of the province of Eastern Bengal and Assam. The construction of the Assam Bengal Railway to Chittagong facilitated further development of economic growth in the city. However, revolutionaries and opposition movements grew during this time. Many people in Chittagong supported Khilafat and Non-Cooperation movements.
In 1930, the Bengali revolutionary Surya Sen led an armed uprising against the British Raj in Chittagong. Sen formed the Indian Republican Army and attacked the European Club, the Telegraph Office and military garrisons in the city. The uprising is known as the Chittagong armoury raid. Sen and his followers were later captured by colonialists, indicted by a court martial and executed.
During World War II, Chittagong cantonment, as well as the airport and the Port of Chittagong, served as important military camps for Allied Forces fighting in the Burma Campaign. The Japanese Air Force raided the city in April and May 1942. The war had a major negative impact on the city, with the growth of refugees and unevenness in fortune, reflected in the Great Famine of 1943.
After the war, rapid industrialization saw the city grow beyond its previous municipal area, particularly in the southwest up to Patenga, where the Chittagong International Airport is now located. The former villages of Halishahar, Askarabad, and Agrabad became integrated into the city. The Chittagong Development Authority was established in 1959 and drew up master plans for the city's urban expansion. However, the Pakistani central government focused more on the development of Karachi in West Pakistan and long neglected the development of Chittagong in East Pakistan; despite the East being more populous than western regions and generating the largest share of foreign exchange earnings.
In 1971, during the Bangladesh Liberation War, Chittagong was under sector 1, which suffered massive losses in people and buildings given that they denied the occupation army access to the port. The first public announcement was made over the radio from the Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra located at Kalurghat, Chittagong. Following the independence of Bangladesh, the city underwent a major rehabilitation and reconstruction programme and regained its status as an important port within a few years.
Geography and climate
Chittagong has a total area of 168.07 square kilometres (64.89 sq mi). The city is known for its vast hilly terrain that stretches throughout the entire district and eventually into India. The city is located at on the banks of the Karnaphuli River.
|Climate data for Chittagong|
|Record high °C (°F)||31.7
|Average high °C (°F)||26
|Daily mean °C (°F)||20
|Average low °C (°F)||13.9
|Record low °C (°F)||5.2
|Precipitation mm (inches)||5.6
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||0||1||2||6||11||17||19||17||13||7||2||1||96|
|Source #1: Weatherbase (normals, 30 yr period)[unreliable source]|
|Source #2: Sistema de Clasificación Bioclimática Mundial (extremes), BBC Weather (humidity and sun)|
The Chittagong city areas are divided into several wards and mahallas, under the jurisdiction of the Chittagong City Corporation. The corporation is governed by the city mayor, who is an elected representative for a five-year term along with 41 male general ward councillors and 14 female ward councillors. The male ward councillors are elected from the 41 general wards in the city where the residents vote and elect their ward councillor as their elected representatives. The female ward councillors are elected by only the female voters of the 14 female wards to represent the city's female dwellers. The Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) is responsible for implementing the city's Master Plan.
Chittagong Metropolitan Police is the main law enforcing agency in the metropolis. Established in 1978, it employs around 5,000 personnel, having 30 police stations under it. Rapid Action Battalion-7 is present in Chittagong
|Top publicly traded
companies in Chittagong,
|Jamuna Oil Company|
|Padma Oil Company|
|Western Marine Shipyard|
|Hakkani Pulp & Paper|
Chittagong Stock Exchange
Often described as the commercial capital of Bangladesh, Chittagong is the largest seaport and most diversified industrial center in the country; accounting for 80% of international trade, 40% of industrial output and 50% of tax revenues. It home to many of the oldest and largest companies in Bangladesh. The Chittagong Stock Exchange has a market capitalization of US$25 billion. The Port of Chittagong is one of the hundred major container ports in the world, ranking 90th in 2012. Its annual cargo tonnage was worth over US$60 billion. Chittagong was ranked as the most efficient port in Asia in 2013. In recent years, it has emerged as one of the fastest-growing cities in the world. It has a leading per-capita GDP among South Asian cities, registering at US$5,492 in 2008.
The Agrabad Commercial Area hosts most major companies, banks and financial institutions in Chittagong. The major conglomerates based in the city include M. M. Ispahani Limited, A K Khan & Company, BSRM, the Habib Group, the PHP Group, the T K Group of Industries, the KDS Group, S. Alam Group of Industries, the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation, and James Finlay Bangladesh. Much of city's industry is located along the banks of the Karnaphuli River. The key sectors are steel, shipbuilding, petroleum, edible oil, fertilizer, liquefied petroleum gas, cement, glass, chemicals, motor vehicle assembling, pharmaceuticals, textiles, leather goods, jute, food processing and newsprint. The port city is the second largest hub of the Bangladesh textile industry, generating US$4.5 billion in garments exports during the fiscal year 2011-12. Shipbuilding is a rapidly-expanding sector, with growing orders from Europe, Africa and Asia. The Chittagong Export Processing Zone was ranked as the third most competitive industrial zone in the world by the Financial Times.
The tea trade plays an important role in Chittagong economy and the city is home to the largest Bangladeshi tea companies. Historically, it was the main gateway for tea exports from Eastern Bengal and Assam during the British Raj. After the Partition of British India in 1947, East Pakistan emerged as a leading world exporter of tea. The Chittagong Tea Auction was established in 1949.
Chittagong is famous for its wholesale bazaars, including Khatunganj, Asadganj and Chatkai. These bazaars supply the entire domestic commodity market in Bangladesh. They are dominated by traditional swadagar traders.
The Government of Bangladesh has planned the construction of several deep water terminals to expand the maritime capacity of the region. A major port is planned on Maheshkhali island, with the project including an LNG Terminal and berths for next generation mother ships. Chittagong is widely viewed as a potential regional gateway for landlocked southern Asia, including Northeast India, Nepal, Bhutan, Southwest China and parts of Burma. Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has called for the development of a special economic zone in the city, in order for it to emerge as a global financial center.
Portuguese merchants in the Age of Discovery described the region as Porto Grande De Bengala. Chittagong was a historic center of the shipbuilding industry in Asia. Its shipyards constructed fleets for the Mughal and Ottoman navies. Examples of British sailing built in Chittagong include the Betsey, Argo and Mersey.
Chittagong has attracted people from around the world. The various waves of settlements left a lasting impact on the language and culture of the city. The origins of the people of the city are diverse and multi-ethnic. The majority of the urban people are involved in the import-export, trade-commerce, and various industrial and business activities along with many other private and government sector occupations like other port cities of the globe. Mezbaan is a traditional feast that originated in this region and is usually hosted by rich people mainly on the occasion of the observance of the birth and death of Islamic prophet Muhammad. Other occasions include the death anniversary of an individual, the birth of a child, any special achievement by someone, inauguration of a new business or celebration of the entrance to a new residence. Lungi or kurta is the most common costume for men and Saree for women. Rice and fish is the staple food of the people. Because of close affinity to the sea, seafood is quite popular. Vegetables commonly found in the market are gourds, pumpkins, various legumes, etc. Fruits include jackfruits, ice apples, coconuts, bananas, custard apple, etc. Shutki mach/dried fish is a specialty. Being home to some of the oldest and most popular bands of the country including Souls, LRB etc., Chittagong is often regarded as the "birthplace of Bangladeshi rock music". Chittagong is the home town of Mohammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, the pioneer of Microcredit, who won the Nobel Prize in Peace in 2006. Many Chittagong natives speak Chittagonian (চাটগাঁইয়া Chaţgaiã), a Bengali-Assamese language of the Indo-European group. A good number of Arabic words are used in this dialect. This is because of the arrival of traders and missionaries from the Arabian Peninsula hundreds of years ago. Many speakers consider their language to be a dialect of standard Bengali, the official language of Bangladesh. However, the two languages are not mutually intelligible, meaning that those who know how to speak only Standard Bengali will not understand Chittagonian speakers, and vice versa - normally the metric for languagehood among linguists. There is, however, a dialect continuum between Chittagonian and neighbouring dialects of Bengali, meaning that speakers of each neighbouring dialect can largely understand each other, while speakers of more distant dialects cannot. Major cultural organizations in the city include Theatre Institute Chittagong, Anarya, Onnoshawr and the Chittagong Performing Arts Academy among others. The city has a vibrant contemporary art scene.
Sufism in Chittagong
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Chittagong has a population of 6.5 million. with the Metropolitan Area having a population of 4,009,423. By gender, the population was 54.36 male and 45.64 percent female. The literacy rate in the city is 60 percent. Muslims form 83.92 percent of the population. Other major religions are Hinduism (13.76 percent), Buddhism (2.01 percent), Christianity (0.11 percent), and others (0.2 percent).
Bengalis constitute the largest ethnic group, followed by adivasi ethnicities such as the Chakmas and Marmas. The Bengali-speaking Theravada Buddhists, known as Baruas, are one of the oldest communities in Chittagong and one of the last remnants of Buddhism in the sub-continent. Many Ismailis and Indo-Iranians settled in the city during the 1940s and 1950s. The descendants of Portuguese settlers, who are often known as Firingis, also live in Chittagong, as Catholic Christians, in the old Portuguese enclave of Paterghatta. There is also a small Urdu-speaking Bihari community living in the ethnic enclave known as Bihari Colony.
Chittagong has experienced a rapid reduction in urban poverty. In 2005, the poverty rate was estimated at 27.8 percent. In 2010, the rate dropped to 11.8 percent, as compared to the national average of 31.5 percent. Like other major urban centers in South Asia, Chittagong has also experienced a steady growth in its slum settlements as a result of the increasing economic activities in the city and emigration from rural areas. A study conducted by CUS in 2005 stated that there were 1,814 slums within the city corporation area, inhabited by about 1.8 million slum dwellers, the second highest in the country after the capital Dhaka. The slum dwellers often face eviction by the local authorities, charging them with illegal abode on government lands.
Chittagong is a strategically important military port on the Bay of Bengal. The Chittagong Naval Area is the principal base of the Bangladesh Navy. The Patenga seafront hosts the majority of the naval installations in the country, including the Bangladesh Naval Academy. The navy's elite special operations unit SWADS is based in the city.
The 24th Infantry Division of the Bangladesh Army is headquartered in Chittagong. The BAF Zahurul Haq Base of the Bangladesh Air Force is located in Patenga. It hosts the Number 74 Air Force Squadron. The premier Bangladesh Military Academy is located in North Chittagong.
Media and communications
There are several newspapers, including daily newspapers, opposition newspaper, business newspapers based in Chittagong. Daily newspapers include Dainik Azadi, Peoples View, The Daily Suprobhat Bangladesh, Purbokon, Life, Karnafuli, Jyoti, Rashtrobarta and Azan. Furthermore, there are a number of weekly and monthly newspapers. These include weeklies are Chattala, Jyoti, Sultan and the monthlies are Sanshodhani, Purobi, Mukulika, Simanto. The only press council in Chittagong is the Chittagong Press Club. Government owned Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar have transmission centres in Chittagong. Chittagong has been featured in all aspects of popular culture such as television, movies, journal, music and books. Almost all the TVs and radios of Bangladesh have coverage in Chittagong. Renowned Bollywood film director Ashutosh Gowariker directed a movie based on the 1930s Chittagong Uprising where Abhishek Bachchan played the lead role.
The southern zone of Bangladesh Power Development Board is responsible for supplying electricity to city dwellers. The fire services are controlled by the Bangladesh Fire Service & Civil Defense department under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The water supply and sewage system is managed by the Chittagong Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Chittagong WASA). Water is primarily sourced from Karnaphuli river before being purified in the Mohra Purification Plant.
Chittagong has extensive GSM and CDMA coverage, served by all the major mobile operators of the country including Grameenphone, Banglalink, Citycell, Robi, TeleTalk and Airtel Bangladesh. The fixed line telephone services are done by the state owned Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB), as well as some private operators. BTTB also provides broadband Internet services, along with some private ISPs, including the 4G service providers Banglalion and Qubee.
The education system of Chittagong is similar to that of rest of Bangladesh. There are mainly four forms of schooling. The general education system, conveyed in both Bangla and English versions, follows the curriculum prepared by the National Curriculum and Textbook Board under the education ministry. Students have to go through four major board examinations, Primary School Certificate (PSC), Junior School Certificate (JSC), Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) before moving to higher education. The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Chittagong is responsible to govern the SSC and HSC examinations in the city. The Madrasah education system is primarily based on Islamic studies but other subjects are also taught. Students are prepared to qualify Dakhil and Alim examinations, controlled by the Bangladesh Madrasah Education Board, which are equivalent to SSC and HSC examinations of the general education system respectively. There are also several private schools, usually referred to as English medium schools which follow the General Certificate of Education.
The British Council supervises the O Levels and A levels examinations under Cambridge International and Edexcel examination boards, which are conducted twice a year. The Technical and Vocational education system is governed by the Directorate of Technical Education (DTE) and follow the curriculum prepared by Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB). Chittagong College, established in 1869, is the earliest modern institution for higher education in the city. Chittagong University, Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology & Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University are three public universities in Chittagong. Chittagong Medical College is the only government medical college in Chittagong. Chittagong is home to two of the nation's most prominent public universities, and is the site of one of Bangladesh's largest universities, the University of Chittagong, established in 1966. Chittagong University of Engineering & Technology is the only public Engineering University in Chittagong division and one of the four public engineering universities in Bangladesh, established in 1968. The city also hosts several other private universities and medical colleges. Chittagong Independent University (CIU) ,Asian University for Women, Begum Gulchemonara Trust University, East Delta University, International Islamic University, Premier University, Southern University, University of Information Technology and Sciencesand the University of Science & Technology Chittagong are some of them. Chittagong has public, denominational and independent schools. Public schools, including pre-schools, primary and secondary schools and special schools are administered by the Ministry of Education and Chittagong Education Board. Chittagong has government and non-government primary schools, international schools and English medium schools.
The Chittagong Medical College Hospital is the largest government-run health service provider. This huge medical has many wards, cabins and units. At present this facility also provides medical treatment of ICU and CCU for the serious patients. There is a national institute for the research & treatment of the tropical and infectious diseases named "Bangladesh Institute of Tropical and Infectious Diseases (BITID)" in the city with the facility of a biosafety level-3 lab.The institute is doing research at the moment on MDR-TB and Enteric infections. This is the only national institute which is outside Dhaka & the only other government institute in Bangladesh to have a biosafety level-3 lab. Other medical service institutes include General Hospital, Upazila Health Complex, Family Welfare Centre, TB Hospital, Infectious Disease Hospital, Diabetic Hospital, Mother and Children Hospital and Police Hospital. Many non government hospitals and clinics also belong to the city. Chittagong Metropolitan Hospital, Surgiscope Hospital, CSCR, Centre Point Hospital, National Hospital,Mount Hospital Ltd are some of the private hospitals and clinics.
Transport in Chittagong is similar to that of the capital, Dhaka. Large avenues and roads are present throughout the metropolis. There are various bus systems, taxis, and as well as smaller 'baby' or 'CNG' taxis, which are basically tricycle-structured motor vehicles. There are also traditional manual rickshaws, which are very common. As the population of the city began to grow extensively, the Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) has undertaken some transportation master plans to ease the traffic congestion in Chittagong. Under this plan the CDA along with the Chittagong City corporation have constructed some flyovers and expanded the existing roads within the city. There are also some other major expressways and flyovers under-construction, most notably the Chittagong City Outer Ring Road along the coast of Chittagong city. This ring road includes a marine drive along with five feeder roads and is also meant to strengthen the embankment of the coast. The government has also approved the construction of a 3.4 km under-water expressway tunnel under the Karnaphuli river to ensure better connectivity between the northern and southern parts of Chittagong, which is going to be the first of its kind in Bangladesh. The Dhaka-Chittagong Highway, a major arterial highway, is the only way to get in the city through land. It is a very busy and a risky highway, currently it is a 2-lane highway, with upgrading to 4 lanes being implemented.
Chittagong can also be accessed by rail. It has a station on the meter gauge eastern section of the Bangladesh Railway. The headquarters of this railway are located here. There are two main railway stations in Station road and in Pahartali Thana. Trains are available traveling to the Bangladeshi cities of Dhaka, Sylhet, Comilla, and Bhairab. The Chittagong Circular Railway was introduced in 2013 to ease the traffic congestion as well as to ensure better public transport service to the commuters within the city. The railway includes high-speed DEMU trains with a carrying capacity of 300 passengers. These DEMU trains also ply on the Chittagong-Laksham route which connects the city with Comilla.
Shah Amanat International Airport serves as Chittagong's only airport, located at South Patenga. It is the second busiest airport in Bangladesh, having international services to Asian destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Jeddah, Muscat, Kuala Lampur and Kolkata. At present, Middle Eastern low-cost carriers like Flydubai, AirArabia, Oman Air operate flights to this destinations. It was formerly known as MA Hannan International Airport, but was renamed on 2 April 2005 by the Government of Bangladesh.
Chittagong has produced numerous cricketers, footballers and athletes who have performed in national level. Tamim Iqbal, Akram Khan, Minhajul Abedin, Aftab Ahmed, Nafees Iqbal, Nazimuddin, Faisal Hossain, Taskin Ahmed are some of the most prominent figures among them. Cricket is the most popular sport in Chittagong, while football, tennis, kabaddi are also popular. A number of stadiums are located in Chittagong with the main stadium being the multipurpose MA Aziz Stadium. It has a seating capacity of 20,000 and hosts football matches in addition to cricket. MA Aziz Stadium was the stadium where Bangladesh achieved its first ever Test cricket victory—which came against Zimbabwe in 2005. The stadium now focuses only on football, and is currently the main football venue of the city. Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, is currently the main cricket venue of the city, which was awarded Test status in 2006, hosting both domestic and international cricket matches. The city hosted two group matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, both of them taking place in Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. Other stadiums include Women's Complex Ground. Major sporting clubs such as, Mohammedan Sporting Club and Abahani Sporting Club are also located here.
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