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Sultan Qaboos of Oman presides over his first cabinet meeting since returning from medical treatment in Germany Image Credit: ONA


  • Sultan was among longest-serving Arab rulers
  • Haitham bin Tariq appointed successor
  • Maintained Oman's neutrality in regional disputes 

Updates on the death of Sultan Qaboos:

Sultan Qaboos Bin Said of Oman, the Arab world's longest-serving ruler, was laid to rest on Saturday morning.

He passed away late on Friday night. Oman declared three days of official mourning with flags to be flown at half-mast for 40 days.

Oman's new sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, center, attends the prayer ceremony over Sultan Qaboos coffin at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque Image Credit: AP

People from all over the Sultanate, leaders from across the region and from around the world, mourned the death of the ruler known for being the "the Sultan of loyalty, love, and wisdom".

Funeral prayers

The casket, draped in the Omani flag, was then carried into Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque where hundreds of people joined prayers inside. The new sultan stood in front facing the casket, with the traditional curved dagger, or khanjar, strapped to his waist. Qaboos was later buried in a family cemetery.

Oman's new sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, center between two men with daggers, attends the prayer ceremony over Sultan Qaboos coffin at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat.

A funeral procession for the late Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, showing vehicles going towards the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the capital Muscat.

People attend the funeral of Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said at Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat Image Credit: AP

World leaders mourns death of Sultan Qaboos

UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, mourns the death of Sultan Qaboos of Oman. UAE has declared three days of mourning and flags to be flown half mast, according to the official news agency WAM.

King Salman and Crown Prince condole the royal family in Sultanate Oman, people of Oman and the Arab and Islamic nations on the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimur said a statement from the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia.

“With the utmost sadness and grief, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, received the news of the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said bin Taimur of Sultanate of Oman, may Allah Almighty bestow mercy upon his soul."

“The King and HRH the Crown Prince expressed their sincere condolences and sympathy to the royal family and people of the Sultanate of Oman as well as to the Arab and Islamic nations on the death of Sultan Qaboos, whose reign was full of accomplishments,” added the Saudi Press Agency. “The King and HRH the Crown Prince also affirmed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its people share sadness and grief with the people of Oman.”

Egypt Saturday declared a three-day period of mourning over the death of Oman's Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi praised the deceased sultan as a "great Arab leader", saying Egyptians will not forget his supportive stances.

"The Arab nation has lost a leader and one of the greatest men," Al Sissi said in a presidential statement.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also offered his condolences to the people of Oman.

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said succeeds Sultan Qaboos

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said took the oath before the Council of Oman this morning as the new Sultan of Oman, according to Oman Network.

Sultan Haitham was minister of heritage and national culture.  The Council of Oman held an emergency session on Saturday morning at its headquarters in Al-Bustan.

Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said was chosen by Sultan Qaboos to succeed him, as the family opened his will this morning as established protocol in Oman.

New Sultan
Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said took the oath before the Council of Oman this morning as the new Sultan of Oman, according to Oman Network. Image Credit: Twitter

This came following the death of Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who died on Friday evening. State media reported the death early on Saturday, and a three-day period of national mourning was declared.

A three-day holiday was also declared in Oman.

Burial is set on Saturday.

On Saturday morning, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, mourned the death of Sultan Qaboos, whom he described as the "Sultan of loyalty, love, and wisdom."

"The Sultan of loyalty, love, and wisdom is gone...Sultan Qaboos is gone, may God rest his soul...our condolences to our brothers in Oman...our condolences to the Arab and Islamic nation...our condolences to all lovers of Oman, the culture, the history ...," Sheikh Mohammed tweeted.

Earlier reports:

Defence Council in Oman has met and called the Family Council to meet in order to select a successor.

Oman state news agency ONA said Qaboos died after "a wise and triumphant march rich with generosity that embraced Oman and extended to the Arab, Muslim and entire world and achieved a balanced policy that the whole world respected".

It did not disclose the cause of death. Qaboos, 79, had been ailing for years and was in Belgium in December for treatment.

No children

Qaboos had no children and had not publicly appointed a successor. A 1996 statute says the ruling family will choose a successor within three days of the throne becoming vacant.

If they fail to agree, a council of military and security officials, supreme court chiefs and heads of the two consultative assemblies will put in power the person whose name has been secretly written by the sultan in a sealed letter.

A three-day period of official mourning for the public and private sectors has been declared, state media said.

Road to power

When Sultan Qaboos Bin Saeed took over in 1970 after a bloodless coup against his father, Oman had only three schools, two hospitals and six kilometres of paved roads.

Once in power, Qaboos embarked on modernising the Arabian Peninsula country, launching a series of ambitious schemes promoting education, healthcare, trade and road links that has drastically transformed life in the Sultanate.

Under him, schools spread across Oman, accommodating boys and girls alike. The country’s first university, which was named after Qaboos, was established in 1986. A fan of classic music, Qaboos opened in Muscat in October 2011 the Royal Oman Opera, the first opera house in the Gulf.

Home policy

With revenues from oil discovered in Oman in late 1960s, Qaboos set up oil refineries, two main ports as well as fish processing plants. In the final years of his rule, he showed interest in diversifying the country’s oil-dependent economy by promoting other sources for national income, including tourism and investment.


The ruling family council would select the new ruler within three days after the position becomes vacant, Should the council fail to reach a consensus, a sealed letter left behind by Qaboos would determine the successor.

The letter should be opened in the presence of senior military and security officials, heads of the Supreme Court, and presidents of the country’s two consultative bodies.

Qaboos is survived by several male cousins, who are eligible contenders for the throne.

They include Assad Bin Tareq Al Saeed, a brother of Qaboos’ ex-wife, a personal representative of the Sultan and a Sandhurst graduate; Haitham Bin Tareq Al Saeed, an incumbent minister of heritage and national culture; and Shihab Bin Tareq Al Saeed, a royal adviser and an ex-naval commander.

The three are sons of Tariq Al Saeed, who was Oman’s first prime minister.

A fourth potential successor is Taimur Bin Assad, who was born in 1980, and is a senior official in Oman’s state Scientific Research Council, and represented the sultan on several occasions.

Who was Sultan Qaboos Bin Said?

Sultan Qaboos Bin Said was born on November 18, 1940, in Salalah, Oman. He was the only son of former ruler Sultan Said Bin Taimur. Qaboos spent his childhood in Salalah, where he studies Islam and the history of his country. At the age of 16 he was sent to England to study in Bury Saint Edmunds and The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He come back to Oman in 1965 after completing his studies.

Qaboos succeeded his father in a coup with British support and exiled his father on July 23, 1970. He immediately undertook a range of ambitious modernisation projects, including constructing roads, hospitals, schools, communications systems, and industrial and port facilities.

Qaboos has changed its name to Sultanate of Oman on December 17, 1970, introduced the new national flag. He has introduced the first constitution in 1996, which formalised both a consultative legislature and the sultan as the unifying symbol of the state.

Qaboos played an important role in modernising the country and made considerable progress in ending its isolation. He opened the diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries and join the Arab League and the United Nations in 1971. Oman became a founding member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which was founded in 1981.

Qaboos has kept closed personal contact with the people and make a regular visit to the villages around the country and fulfil their requirements. He has given top priority, in the belief that the country cannot achieve real economic path without proper communications and infrastructure. He started to spent more expenditure in this sector, because Oman had only five kilometres of tarmac road, no port and no civil airport till 1970. As a result construction has been the major economic activity in the country, between 1971-1975, 287.6 million Omani rials was spent on infrastructural projects, 75.2 per cent of its total development expenditure of 382.8 million Omani rials.

He has launched Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation award in the field of environmental protection, it was established in 1989.

- With inputs from Abdul Kareem, Head of Archives