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.