Chābahār About this sound pronunciation (help·info) (Persian: چابهار, formerly Bandar Beheshtī) is a city in and capital of Chah Bahar County, Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran. Chabahar is a free port (Free Trade Zone) on the coast of the Gulf of Oman. At the 2006 census, its population was 71,070, in 13,837 families. Chabahar is Iran's southernmost city.
Chabahar is situated on the Makran Coast of the Sistan and Baluchestan province of Iran and is officially designated as a Free Trade and Industrial Zone by Iran's government. Due to its free trade zone status, the city has increased in significance in international trade. The overwhelming majority of the city's inhabitants are ethnic Baluch who speak the Baluchi language.
Chabahar is Iran's closest and best access point to the Indian Ocean. For this reason, Chabahar is the focal point of Iranian development of the east of the country through expansion and enhancement of transit routes among countries situated in the northern part of the Indian Ocean and Central Asia. The hope is that with the development of transit routes, and better security and transit services, the benefits will reach the local residents. Chabahar's economic sectors are fish industries and commercial sector, fishery sectors with the largest amount of country's fish catch, mainly located out of the Chabahar Free Trade-Industrial Zone. Growing commercial sector located at free trade area with high potentiality to turn to a place that would connect business growth centers in south Asia (India) and Middle East (Dubai) to central Asian and Afghanistan market. The government plans to link the Chabahar free trade area to Iran's main rail network, which is connected to Central Asia and Afghanistan as well. This would provide more capability for Chabahar to foster a faster logistics sector that will achieve a better position compared to its competitor (Pakistani port of Gwadar)