Qaboos of Oman
Qaboos bin Said Al Said ( ; born 18 November 1940) is the Sultan
Sultan of Oman
-List of Imams :-Nabhan Dynasty :-Ya'ariba Dynasty :-Banu Ghafir Dynasty :-Ya'ariba Dynasty :-Al Said Dynasty :-See also:...

 of 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...

 and its Dependencies. He rose to power after overthrowing his father, 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...

, in a palace coup in 1970. He is the 14th-generation descendant of the founder of the Al Bu Sa'idi
Al Said
Al Said is the ruling dynasty of the Sultanate of Oman, a prominent branch of the Al Busaid clan which has successively ruled the country since 1749.-Origins:...

A dynasty is a sequence of rulers considered members of the same family. Historians traditionally consider many sovereign states' history within a framework of successive dynasties, e.g., China, Ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire...


Early life

Sultan Qaboos Bin Sa‘id was born in Salalah
Salalah , is the capital and seat of the governor or Wali of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. The population of Salalah was 197,169 in 2009....

 in Dhofar
The Dhofar region lies in Southern Oman, on the eastern border with Yemen. Its mountainous area covers and has a population of 215,960 as of the 2003 census. The largest town in the region is Salalah. Historically, it was the chief source of frankincense in the world. However, its frankincense...

 on 18 November 1940. He is the only son of 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...

 and princess Mazoon al-Mashani
Mazoon al-Mashani
Princess Mazoon al-Maashani was the second wife of Sultan Said bin Taimur and the mother of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman.-Biography:...

. He received his primary and secondary education at Salalah
Salalah , is the capital and seat of the governor or Wali of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. The population of Salalah was 197,169 in 2009....

 and Pune [Maharashtra, India] and was sent to a private educational establishment in England at age sixteen. At 20 he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst , commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is a British Army officer initial training centre located in Sandhurst, Berkshire, England...

. After graduating from Sandhurst, he joined the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 and was posted to the 1st Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), serving in Germany for one year. He also held a staff appointment with the British Army.

After his military service, Sultan Qaboos studied local government subjects in England and, after a world tour, returned home to Salalah where he studied Islam and the history of his country. Sultan Qaboos ibn Sa‘id is a Muslim of the 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...

 school of jurisprudence
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

, which has traditionally ruled Oman. A religious liberal
Liberal movements within Islam
Progressive Muslims have produced a considerable body of liberal thought within Islam or "progressive Islam" ; but some consider progressive Islam and liberal Islam as two distinct movements)...

, he has financed the construction or maintenance of a number of mosques, notably the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
-Construction:In 1992 Sultan Qaboos directed that his country of Oman should have a Grand Mosque. A competition for its design took place in 1993 and after a site was chosen at Bausher construction commenced in 1995. Building work, which was undertaken by Carillion Alawi LLC took six years and four...

, as well as the holy places of other religions.

In 1976 Qaboos ibn Sa‘id married his cousin
Cousin marriage
Cousin marriage is marriage between two cousins. In various jurisdictions and cultures, such marriages range from being considered ideal and actively encouraged, to being uncommon but still legal, to being seen as incest and legally prohibited....

, Kamila, née Sayyid
Sayyid is an honorific title, it denotes males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husain ibn Ali, sons of the prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra and his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib.Daughters of sayyids are given the titles Sayyida,...

ah Nawwal bint Tariq (born 1951), daughter of HH
Highness, often used with a possessive adjective , is an attribute referring to the rank of the dynasty in an address...

 Sayyid Tariq ibn Taymur. However, the marriage soon ended in divorce and he has never remarried or had any children.

Qaboos bin Sa‘id is an avid fan and promoter of classical music. His 120-member orchestra has a high reputation in the Middle East. The orchestra consists entirely of young Omanis who, since 1986, audition as children and grow up as members of the symphonic ensemble
Musical ensemble
A musical ensemble is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles...

. They play locally and travel abroad with the sultan. Argentine
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

 composer Lalo Schifrin
Lalo Schifrin
Lalo Schifrin is an Argentine composer, pianist and conductor. He is best known for his film and TV scores, such as the "Theme from Mission: Impossible". He has received four Grammy Awards and six Oscar nominations...

 was commissioned to compose a work entitled Symphonic Impressions of Oman and the Sultan is particularly enthusiastic about the pipe organ
Pipe organ
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each organ pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass...


The Sultan's birthday, 18 November, is celebrated as Oman's national holiday. The first day of his reign, 23 July, is celebrated as Renaissance Day.

Rise to power

For six years prior to Said bin-Taymur's overthrow, Qaboos experienced virtual house-arrest in the Royal Palace of Salalah. In July 1970, soldiers supporting Qaboos clashed with forces loyal to Said bin-Taymur and deposed him. Qaboos maintains that his father abdicated the throne. The British government helped to consolidate Qaboos' power.

Qaboos acceded to the throne on 23 July 1970 after deposing his father in a palace coup with the aim of ending the country's isolation and using its oil revenue for modernization and development, moving to Muscat
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...

. There he declared that the country would no longer be known as Muscat and Oman
Muscat and Oman
Muscat and Oman was a country that encompassed the present day Sultanate of Oman and parts of the United Arab Emirates. The country is not to be confused with either the Trucial States or Trucial Oman, which were sheikhdoms under British protection since 1820....

, but would change its name to "the Sultanate of Oman" in order to better reflect its political unity.

The first pressing problem that Qaboos bin Said faced as Sultan was an armed communist insurgency from South Yemen, 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...

 (1965–1975). The Sultanate eventually defeated the incursion with help from Iran, Jordanian troops sent from his friend King Hussein of Jordan, British Special Forces, and the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...


Reign as Sultan

The political system which Qaboos established is that of an absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy
Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch exercises ultimate governing authority as head of state and head of government, his or her power not being limited by a constitution or by the law. An absolute monarch thus wields unrestricted political power over the...

. Unlike the situation in neighbouring Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, Qaboos' decisions are not subject to modification by other members of Oman's royal family
Royal family
A royal family is the extended family of a king or queen regnant. The term imperial family appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress, while the terms "ducal family", "grand ducal family" or "princely family" are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning...

. Government decisions are said to be made through a process of decision-making by "consensus" with provincial, local and tribal representatives, though critics allege that Qaboos exercises de facto control of this process. Qaboos also regularly engages in tours of his realm, in which any citizen with a grievance or request is allowed to appeal to the Sultan in person.

More recently, Qaboos has allowed parliament
Council of Oman
The Council of Oman is a bicameral parliament, made up of member of the State Council and Consultation Council as stipulated in Article 58 of the Basic Law of the State. It is considered to be the main Parliament in Oman. It assists the government in drawing up the general policies of the state...

ary elections (in which women have voted and stood as candidates) and pledged greater openness and participation in government. The parliament enjoys legislative and oversight powers. In 1979 Oman was the only Arab state to recognize Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's peace agreement with Israel.

Qaboos' supporters point to his relative success in governing the country. By Gulf standards, Oman boasts good public order, middling prosperity
Prosperity is the state of flourishing, thriving, good fortune and/or successful social status. Prosperity often encompasses wealth but also includes others factors which are independent of wealth to varying degrees, such as happiness and health....

, and a relatively permissive society. Since he acceded to the throne, Oman has broadened international relations, allowed newspapers, established high schools, built highways, opened hotels and shopping malls and spends a substantial portion of its dwindling oil revenues on health care and education.

In September 1995, he was involved in a car accident in Salalah
Salalah , is the capital and seat of the governor or Wali of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. The population of Salalah was 197,169 in 2009....

 just out side his palace, which claimed the life of one of his most prominent and influential ministers and his right hand man, Qais Bin Abdul Munaim Al Zawawi
Qais Bin Abdul Munaim Al Zawawi
Qais bin Abdul Munim Al Zawawi , was the second foreign minister for the Sultanate of Oman, and later from 1982 served as Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Financial affairs until his death on September 11, 1995 in a Salalah accident, whilst in the car with His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said,...


In October 1998, Qaboos bin Said was presented with the International Peace Award by the National Council on US-Arab Relations. He also forges and maintains good relations with other Arab states and partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council
Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf
The Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf , also known as the Gulf Cooperation Council , is a political and economic union of the Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf and constituting the Arabian Peninsula, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates...


Foreign policy

Qaboos officially keeps Oman neutral, having contacts and normal relations with Iran while being an ally of western states like Britain and America. In talks with American officials released by wikileaks, Qaboos dodged requests by the Americans for Oman to invest in Iraq and Afghanistan, switching to other topics. Qaboos was against Americans withdrawing quickly from Iraq.

Oman has more normal relations with Iran than the other Gulf Arab states, careful to appear neutral and maintain a balance between the West and Iran.

Views on Ideology

Qaboos criticized the Arab Nationalist leader Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser
Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein was the second President of Egypt from 1956 until his death. A colonel in the Egyptian army, Nasser led the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 along with Muhammad Naguib, the first president, which overthrew the monarchy of Egypt and Sudan, and heralded a new period of...

 in private discussions with American officials which were released by Wikileaks. He claimed Nasser deliberately used inflamatory speeches and rhetoric to make his people stupid, and accused Nasser of having "set the region back", holding a position of "anti-everything". Qaboos concluded that the Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

 obtained support from the uneducated people.


{| class="sortable wikitable"
|- style="background:#ececec;"
! Name
! City
! Area
! Coordinates
! Features
| Al Alam Palace
Al Alam Palace
The Al Alam Palace is the ceremonial palace of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos of Oman.-Overview:The palace was built in 1972. It has a facade of gold and blue...

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...

 || 1.4kmX1.4 km || 23°36′52.86"N 58°35′43.90"E || Contains two Helipads, Super Yacht Berth and several ultra Luxurious residences.
|Bait Barka ||Barka
Barka is a coastal town in the region Al Bāţinah, in northern Oman. It is located at about . The town is emerging as a tourist resort. It has an interesting fort....

 || 3kmX4km|| 23°42′28.19"N 58°05′37.37"E ||Sultan's Retreat contains six Helipads, Super Yacht Berth and ultra Luxurious residences, massive garage and splendid infinity pools in lush landscape gardens.
|Hisn Al Shomoukh ||Manah
' was one of the three chief goddesses of Mecca. The pre-Islamic Arabs believed Manāt to be the goddess of fate. She was known by the cognate name Manawat to the Nabataeans of Petra, who equated her with the Graeco-Roman goddess Nemesis and she was considered the wife of Hubal...

 || 4kmX4km|| 22°45′18.22"N 57°33′44.50"E || Recently built Royal Camp with 4 Helipads. Currently most of the royal delegates are routed to here. Satellite images assures heavy construction for further expansion.
|Royal Court
Royal court
Royal court, as distinguished from a court of law, may refer to:* The Royal Court , Timbaland's production company*Court , the household and entourage of a monarch or other ruler, the princely court...

Seeb, As Seeb or As Sib is a coastal fishing town, located several kilometres northwest of Muscat, in northeastern Oman. It is located at around...

 || 2kmX3km|| 23°40′15.40"N 58°10′16.40"E || The most heavily guarded zone in Oman, this splendid palace contains its own private Landing strip or airport. There's a large stable containing the royal equestrian facilities.
|Hisn Salalah ||Salalah
Salalah , is the capital and seat of the governor or Wali of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. The population of Salalah was 197,169 in 2009....

 || 2kmX1.8 km|| 16°59′54.90"N 54°05′38.04"E || Sultan's birth place. This waterfront palace has 4 Helipads. It contains two mosques and many villas.
|Sohar Palace ||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...

 || 2kmX3km|| 24°19′11.06"N 56°46′19.22"E || Sultan's farm in Sohar. Going through extensive renovation and expansion. Contains camel, cow, goat and horse farms. Several green houses for vegetable production.
|Qasr Mamoora ||Salalah
Salalah , is the capital and seat of the governor or Wali of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. The population of Salalah was 197,169 in 2009....

 || 2kmX2km|| 17°03′36.25"N 54°13′54.43"E || By far the most private palace with its own double runway landing strip, three Helipads as well as two private flyovers connected to his private Razat farm.
|Razat Farm ||Salalah
Salalah , is the capital and seat of the governor or Wali of the southern Omani province of Dhofar. The population of Salalah was 197,169 in 2009....

 || 3kmX3km|| 17°02′15.40"N 54°12′35.76"E || Private farm that supplies him with fresh dairy products, fruits and vegetables. Contains one Helipad

Super yachts

Name Length (m) Shipyard Year Description
Al Said
Al Said (yacht)
Al Said is a luxury yacht owned by the Sultan Qaboos of Oman. The yacht was ordered to be made in 2006, by Lürssen.The ship was code named Project Sunflower during its construction. It is currently the world's third largest super-yacht....

155 Lürssen
Lürssen is a German shipbuilding company based in Bremen-Vegesack.Lürssen designs and constructs yachts, naval ships and special vessels...

2007 Contains a Helipad, an orchestra and swimming pool. Berthed most of the time in Mutrah port.
Fulk al Salamah
Fulk al Salamah
Fulk al Salamah is an amphibious transport ship in service with the Royal Navy of Oman since her construction in 1987. The vessel is capable of transporting 240 troops, but now works alongside the royal yacht....

136 Lürssen 1987 It has participated in Ship for World Youth
Ship for World Youth
The Ship for World Youth is a unique international cultural exchange program organised by the Government of Japan. SWY brings together over 250 youth from around the world to learn about international cooperation and understanding...

Loaloat Al Behar
Loaloat Al Behar
Loaloat Al Behar is the name of the ex-yacht Al Said owned by Sultan Qaboos of the Sultanate of Oman. The yacht is large and spacious, being built in 1982 by Picchiotti of Italy....

103.85 Picchiotti Italy 1982 Largest yacht built in Italy in the 1980s
Zinat al Bihaar 61 Oman Royal Yacht Squadron 1988 Luxury sailing yacht with worlds largest sail built in Oman with imported engine from Siemens.
Al-Noores 33.5 K. Damen Netherlands 1982 Specialized tug boat for the other royal yachts.


Unlike the heads of other Gulf Arab states, Qaboos bin Sa‘id has not publicly named an heir
Heir apparent
An heir apparent or heiress apparent is a person who is first in line of succession and cannot be displaced from inheriting, except by a change in the rules of succession....

. Article 6 of the constitution actually provides that the Ruling Family Council chooses the successor after the throne becomes vacant, and that the Sultan's preference, to be expressed in an official letter (which Qaboos says has already been sealed and delivered to the defence minister), is only resorted to in the event of lack of familial consensus.

Qaboos bin Sa‘id has no children and has three sisters; there are other male members of the Omani Royal Family including several paternal uncles and their families. Using primogeniture
Primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings . Historically, the term implied male primogeniture, to the exclusion of females...

 the successor to Qaboos would appear to be the children of his late uncle, His Royal Highness Sayyid
Sayyid is an honorific title, it denotes males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husain ibn Ali, sons of the prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra and his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib.Daughters of sayyids are given the titles Sayyida,...

 Tariq bin Taimur Al Said, the former, first and only Prime Minister in Oman's history..

Military ranks

Qaboos holds the following ranks:
  • Field Marshal
    Field Marshal
    Field Marshal is a military rank. Traditionally, it is the highest military rank in an army.-Etymology:The origin of the rank of field marshal dates to the early Middle Ages, originally meaning the keeper of the king's horses , from the time of the early Frankish kings.-Usage and hierarchical...

    , Royal Army of Oman
  • Admiral of the Fleet
    Admiral of the Fleet
    An admiral of the fleet is a military naval officer of the highest rank. In many nations the rank is reserved for wartime or ceremonial appointments...

    , Royal Navy of Oman
  • Marshal of the Royal Air Force of Oman
    Marshal of the Air Force
    Marshal of the Air Force is the English term for the most senior rank in a number of air forces. The ranks described by this term can properly be considered marshal ranks....

  • Supreme Commander, Royal Oman Police
    Royal Oman Police
    The Royal Oman Police , also known as Oman Police , is the main law and order agency for the Sultanate of Oman. It maintains a helicopter fleet and also carries on the duties of safeguarding the long Omani coastline.-Background:...

  • Honorary General
    General (United Kingdom)
    General is currently the highest peace-time rank in the British Army and Royal Marines. It is subordinate to the Army rank of Field Marshal, has a NATO-code of OF-9, and is a four-star rank....

    , British Army

Foreign honours

Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Order of the Bath
The Most Honourable Order of the Bath is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725. The name derives from the elaborate mediæval ceremony for creating a knight, which involved bathing as one of its elements. The knights so created were known as Knights of the Bath...

 (18 March 1982) Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George
Order of St Michael and St George
The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is an order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later George IV of the United Kingdom, while he was acting as Prince Regent for his father, George III....

 (8/7/1976) Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Royal Victorian Order
The Royal Victorian Order is a dynastic order of knighthood and a house order of chivalry recognising distinguished personal service to the order's Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, any members of her family, or any of her viceroys...

 (28 February 1979) Royal Victorian Chain
Royal Victorian Chain
The Royal Victorian Chain is an award, instituted in 1902 by King Edward VII as a personal award of the Monarch...

 (27 November 2010) KStJ (8/10/1976)) GCStJ (19 March 1984) Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum Grand Collar of the Order of Pahlavi (3 March 1974) Grand Collar of the Order of the Nile
Order of the Nile
The Order of the Nile is Egypt's highest state honor. The award was instituted in 1915 by Sultan Hussein Kamel to be awarded by Egypt for exceptional services to the nation...

 (1976) The Badr Chain Collar of the Order of Etihad Collar of the Order of Hussein ibn Ali Collar of the Order of the Independence Order of King Abdu'l Aziz (23 December 2006) Order of Mubarak the Great (28 December 2009) Grand Collar of the Order of Merit (22 April 1974) Grand Collar of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, Special Grade Collar of the Order of Merit, Special Class Collar of the Order of Omayyad Order of Independence with Collar Order of Isabella the Catholic with Collar (18 December 1985) Legion of Honour (31 May 1989) Royal Family Order of the Crown of Brunei (DKMB) (15 December 1984) Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Merit (31 March 2001) Order of King Abdu'l Aziz Decoration, 1st Class Order of Al Khalifa, 1st Class Order of the State Crown of Malaysia (DMN) Nishan-e-Pakistan
The Nishan-e-Pakistan is the highest of civil awards and decorations given by the Government of Pakistan for the highest degree of service to the country and nation of Pakistan...

, 1st Class Order of the Star, 1st Class or Adipurna Jawaharlal Nehru Award
Jawaharlal Nehru Award
Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding is an international award presented by the Government of India. It was founded in 1965 and is administered by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations to people "for their outstanding contribution to the promotion of international...

 for International Understanding (2004) (Award yet to be presented) Darjah Utama Temasek
Order of Temasek
The Darjah Utama Temasek is Singapore's second most important national honour and was instituted in 1962.There are 3 grades of the Order of Temasek:*the First Class, consisting of the Badge and the Star of the Order...

, 1st Class (12/3/2009)

External links

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