Muscat and Oman
Overview
 
Muscat and Oman was a country that encompassed the present day Sultanate of Oman and parts of the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. The country is not to be confused with either the Trucial States
Trucial States
The Trucial States were a group of sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf.-General aspects:The sheikdoms included:*Abu Dhabi *Ajman...

 or Trucial Oman, which were sheikhdoms under British protection since 1820.
Historical differences always existed between the more secular, rich, seafaring coastal Sultanate of Muscat and the tribes of the interior. Though the inland territories
Oman proper
Oman proper refers a historical area within the present-day Sultanate of Oman. It lay inland from Muscat beyond the Jebel Akhdar and was centered on the city of Nizwa in the area of the current region of Ad Dakhiliyah...

 were under nominal control of the Sultans of Muscat, they were in practice run by tribal leaders and the conservative Imams of Oman, practitioners of the Ibadi
Ibadi
The Ibāḍī movement, Ibadism or Ibāḍiyya is a form of Islam distinct from the Sunni and Shia denominations. It is the dominant form of Islam in Oman and Zanzibar...

 sect of Islam.
The Sultanate of Muscat possessed a powerful naval force, which enabled the creation of a short-lived empire, encompassing modern Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

, the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, southern Baluchistan
Balochistan (region)
Balochistan or Baluchistan is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of southeastern Iran, western Pakistan, and southwestern Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch tribes, Iranian peoples who moved into the area from the west...

, and Zanzibar
Zanzibar
Zanzibar ,Persian: زنگبار, from suffix bār: "coast" and Zangi: "bruin" ; is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja , and Pemba...

 and the adjacent coasts of Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

 and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

.
Encyclopedia
Muscat and Oman was a country that encompassed the present day Sultanate of Oman and parts of the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

. The country is not to be confused with either the Trucial States
Trucial States
The Trucial States were a group of sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf.-General aspects:The sheikdoms included:*Abu Dhabi *Ajman...

 or Trucial Oman, which were sheikhdoms under British protection since 1820.

Expansionist era

Historical differences always existed between the more secular, rich, seafaring coastal Sultanate of Muscat and the tribes of the interior. Though the inland territories
Oman proper
Oman proper refers a historical area within the present-day Sultanate of Oman. It lay inland from Muscat beyond the Jebel Akhdar and was centered on the city of Nizwa in the area of the current region of Ad Dakhiliyah...

 were under nominal control of the Sultans of Muscat, they were in practice run by tribal leaders and the conservative Imams of Oman, practitioners of the Ibadi
Ibadi
The Ibāḍī movement, Ibadism or Ibāḍiyya is a form of Islam distinct from the Sunni and Shia denominations. It is the dominant form of Islam in Oman and Zanzibar...

 sect of Islam.
The Sultanate of Muscat possessed a powerful naval force, which enabled the creation of a short-lived empire, encompassing modern Oman
Oman
Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

, the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
The United Arab Emirates, abbreviated as the UAE, or shortened to "the Emirates", is a state situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman, and Saudi Arabia, and sharing sea borders with Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Iran.The UAE is a...

, southern Baluchistan
Balochistan (region)
Balochistan or Baluchistan is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of southeastern Iran, western Pakistan, and southwestern Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch tribes, Iranian peoples who moved into the area from the west...

, and Zanzibar
Zanzibar
Zanzibar ,Persian: زنگبار, from suffix bār: "coast" and Zangi: "bruin" ; is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja , and Pemba...

 and the adjacent coasts of Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

 and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

. The Sultanate of Muscat also engaged in a very lucrative slave trade across east Africa. Recently, a claim was made by an Omani minister, suggesting that the Sultanate controlled the distant Mascarene Islands
Mascarene Islands
The Mascarene Islands is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar comprising Mauritius, Réunion, Rodrigues, Cargados Carajos shoals, plus the former islands of the Saya de Malha, Nazareth and Soudan banks...

 as early as the 15th century.

Consolidation and decline

In the early 1820s, the Sultanate lost most of its territories in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
The Persian Gulf, in Southwest Asia, is an extension of the Indian Ocean located between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula.The Persian Gulf was the focus of the 1980–1988 Iran-Iraq War, in which each side attacked the other's oil tankers...

, which became the Trucial States
Trucial States
The Trucial States were a group of sheikhdoms in the Persian Gulf.-General aspects:The sheikdoms included:*Abu Dhabi *Ajman...

 under British protection. The fifth Sultan
Sultan
Sultan is a title with several historical meanings. Originally, it was an Arabic language abstract noun meaning "strength", "authority", "rulership", and "dictatorship", derived from the masdar سلطة , meaning "authority" or "power". Later, it came to be used as the title of certain rulers who...

 of the Al Said
The Ten Families
The ten families refers to the families or tribes that are ruling the small independent states in the Persian Gulf. The standard Arabic reference to a tribe is bani fulan, literally translated as "the sons of so-and-so"...

 dynasty, Said bin Sultan, consolidated the Sultanate's territorial holdings and economic interests and Oman prospered. However, the Omani fleet was unable to compete with the more technically advanced Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an fleets and the Sultanate lost much of the trade with South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

. Pressure by the British
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 to abandon the slave trade further led to the loss of political and economic clout of the Sultanate.

On June 4, 1856, Said bin Sultan
Said bin Sultan, Sultan of Muscat and Oman
Said bin Sultan Al-Said was Sultan of Muscat and Oman from November 20, 1804 to June 4, 1856. He became joint ruler of the country along with his brother Salim on the death of their father, Sultan bin Ahmad, in 1804...

 died without appointing a heir to the throne and members of the Al Said dynasty could not agree on a ruler. Through British mediation, two rulers were appointed from the Al Said clan; the third son of the Sultan, Thuwaini bin Said became ruler of the mainland. His sixth son, Majid bin Said, became ruler of an independent Sultanate of Zanzibar on October 19, 1856. The Sultans of Zanzibar were thereafter obliged to pay an annual tribute to Muscat.

The Sultanate of Muscat was regularly under attack from the devout Ibadi
Ibadi
The Ibāḍī movement, Ibadism or Ibāḍiyya is a form of Islam distinct from the Sunni and Shia denominations. It is the dominant form of Islam in Oman and Zanzibar...

 tribes who resented the influence of the more secular coastal people. The Sultanate was however able to defend itself with British help. This historical split continued throughout much of the twentieth century with Sultan Taimur bin Feisal
Taimur bin Feisal
al-Wasik Billah al-Majid Sayyid Taimur bin Faisal bin Turki, KCIE, CSI was the sultan of Muscat and Oman from October 15, 1913 to February 10, 1932. He was born at Muscat and succeeded his father Faisal bin Turki, Sultan of Muscat and Oman as Sultan.Taimur ibn Faisal succeeded his father as...

 granting limited autonomy
Autonomous area
An autonomous area or autonomous entity is an area of a country that has a degree of autonomy, or freedom from an external authority. Typically it is either geographically distinct from the rest of the country or populated by a national minority. Countries that include autonomous areas are often...

 to the Imamate of Oman under the Ibadi clergy through the Treaty of Seeb
Treaty of Seeb
The Treaty of Seeb, or Treaty of As Sib was an agreement reached between Sultan Taimur bin Feisal of Muscat and the Imam of Oman in 1920. It gave autonomy to the Imamate of Oman regarding the interior regions of the Muscat and Oman Protectorate, while the sultan would retain sovereignty over the...

 in 1920.

The last overseas possession, the port of Gwadar
Gwadar
Gwadar also known as Godar is a developing port city on the southwestern Arabian Sea coast of Pakistan. It is the district headquarters of Gwadar District in Balochistan province and has a population of approximately 50,000.Gwadar is strategically located at the apex of the Arabian Sea and at the...

 across the Gulf of Oman
Gulf of Oman
The Gulf of Oman or Sea of Oman is a strait that connects the Arabian Sea with the Strait of Hormuz, which then runs to the Persian Gulf. It is generally included as a branch of the Persian Gulf, not as an arm of the Arabian Sea. On the north coast is Pakistan and Iran...

, was ceded to Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 in 1958.

Insurgency and oil drilling

The discovery of oil
Oil
An oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes vegetable oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils....

 in the Persian Gulf exacerbated the dispute between the Sultan in Muscat and the Imams of Oman. Oil exploration had begun in the early 1920s by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company
Anglo-Persian Oil Company
The Anglo-Persian Oil Company was founded in 1908 following the discovery of a large oil field in Masjed Soleiman, Iran. It was the first company to extract petroleum from the Middle East...

. The course of the second world war severely disrupted such activities.

The last Imam of Oman, Ghalib Bin Ali, started an uprising in 1954 when the Sultan granted licenses to the Iraq Petroleum Company
Iraq Petroleum Company
The Iraq Petroleum Company , until 1929 called Turkish Petroleum Company , was an oil company jointly owned by some of the world's largest oil companies, which had virtual monopoly on all oil exploration and production in Iraq from 1925 to 1961...

 despite the fact that the largest oil field
Oil field
An oil field is a region with an abundance of oil wells extracting petroleum from below ground. Because the oil reservoirs typically extend over a large area, possibly several hundred kilometres across, full exploitation entails multiple wells scattered across the area...

s lay inside the Imamate. The hostilities were put down in 1955, but the longer conflict would evolve into the Jebel Akhdar rebellion, where Sultan Said bin Taimur
Said bin Taimur
Said bin Taimur was the sultan of Muscat and Oman from 10 February 1932 until his overthrow on 23 July 1970. His second wife was Mazoon al-Mashani...

 relied heavily on continued British military support. Iraq Petroleum, along with its operator of oil exploration, Petroleum Development Oman
Petroleum Development Oman
Petroleum Development of Oman is the foremost exploration and production company in the Sultanate. It accounts for more than 90% of the country's crude-oil production and nearly all of its natural-gas supply...

, was owned by European oil giants including Anglo-Iranian Oil's successor British Petroleum which encouraged the British government to extend their support to the Sultan.
The insurgency erupted again in 1957, when Saudi Arabia began supporting the Ibadi rebels, but eventually the Sultan was able to establish pre-eminence over most of the inland. The same year, the British forces bombarded the town of Nizwa
Nizwa
-Attractions:The main tourist attractions in the city are Nizwa Fort, the traditional Souq and Falaj Daris. In the 1990s, the Jama, the fort and the souq which sit next to each other in the centre were renovated using the same traditional materials...

, the capital of the Imamate, and toppled the Ibadi theocracy. Ghalib Bin Ali went into exile in Saudi Arabia and the last rebel forces were defeated two years later, in 1959. The Treaty of Seeb was terminated and the autonomous Imamate of Oman abolished.

The frequency of uprisings such as the Dhofar Rebellion
Dhofar Rebellion
The Dhofar Rebellion was launched in the province of Dhofar against the Sultanate of Muscat and Oman, which had British support, from 1962 to 1976. It ended with the defeat of the rebels, but the state of Oman had to be radically reformed and modernised to cope with the campaign.-Background:In...

, instigated by the communist government of South Yemen , motivated the British to supplant the Sultan. The British chose the Western-educated son of the Sultan, Qaboos bin Said
Qaboos of Oman
Qaboos bin Said Al Said is the Sultan of Oman and its Dependencies. He rose to power after overthrowing his father, Said bin Taimur, in a palace coup in 1970. He is the 14th-generation descendant of the founder of the Al Bu Sa'idi dynasty.-Early life:...

 who was locked up in the palace, because his paranoid father feared a coup. On his release, Qaboos bin Said, with the help of British military forces, staged a successful palace coup and was proclaimed Sultan of Muscat and Oman in 1970. The newly consolidated territories along with Muscat were reorganized into the present-day unified Sultanate of Oman by August 1970.

In 1976, again with British aid, the Sultan secured his hold over the entire interior and suppressed the Dhofar rebellion.

Sohar Sultanate

The Sohar Sultanate lasted from 1920 until about 1932. In 1920, Sheik
Sheikh
Not to be confused with sikhSheikh — also spelled Sheik or Shaikh, or transliterated as Shaykh — is an honorific in the Arabic language that literally means "elder" and carries the meaning "leader and/or governor"...

 Ali Banu Bu Ali, a relative of Sultan Taimur bin Faisal, rebelled in the northern town of Sohar
Sohar
Sohar is the most developed city in Sultanate of Oman outside the capital Muscat. It is about 200 kilometers north of Muscat. Sohar was an ancient capital of Oman and many believe it to be the birthplace of Sinbad the Sailor...

 and proclaimed himself Sultan but was deposed by the British in 1932.

See also

  • History of Oman
    History of Oman
    -Prehistory:Prehistoric migration of Homo Sapiens is likely to have taken place around 100,000 years ago and to have followed the coastlines from Africa along Yemen and the sea shores of Oman. Archaeological sites in Yemen and Oman have yielded a stone tool style that is distinct from the East...

  • List of rulers of Oman
  • Muscat, Oman
    Muscat, Oman
    Muscat is the capital of Oman. It is also the seat of government and largest city in the Governorate of Muscat. As of 2008, the population of the Muscat metropolitan area was 1,090,797. The metropolitan area spans approximately and includes six provinces called wilayats...

  • Oman proper
    Oman proper
    Oman proper refers a historical area within the present-day Sultanate of Oman. It lay inland from Muscat beyond the Jebel Akhdar and was centered on the city of Nizwa in the area of the current region of Ad Dakhiliyah...

  • Provinces of Oman
    Provinces of Oman
    The regions and governorates of Oman are subdivided into provinces .-Ad Dakhiliyah Region:*Nizwa*Samail*Bahla* Adam*Al Hamra*Manah*Izki...


External links

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