The port of al Mokha has been in use since ancient time. However, once the maritime incense route was established, this port became a busy center of trade. Once the Nabataean Empire was handed over to the Romans, many Nabataean merchants relocated here and continued trade with India and China. During her golden age, the population of Mokka bordered the 20 000 inhabitants. Today the population has been reduced to a hundred inhabitants with the port being used by local fishermen and smugglers.