Skip to main content

Oman's uncertain future

The sultan of Oman's health crisis will have implications for the Gulf nation and its unique foreign policy.
Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said (R) walks with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani upon Rouhani's arrival in Muscat March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Sultan Al Hasani (OMAN - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS) - RTR3GQAH

Even as many Arab states have succumbed to sectarian violence and political tumult, the Sultanate of Oman has stood out as a beacon of tranquility and tolerance. Oman’s stability is largely attributed to the popularity of its leader, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said.

When Qaboos seized power in 1970, Oman was an isolated and impoverished state beset by a Marxist insurgency. Yet, over the course of his 44-year reign, Qaboos has been credited with using Oman’s oil wealth to transform his nation into a rich country with a vibrant tourism industry and a high standard of living. Under Qaboos’ stewardship, Oman has also conducted an independent foreign policy that serves a unique role in the region.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.