Qabus ibn said

Qabus ibn said

Qabus ibn Said (2013)

Qabus ibn Sa’id Al Sa’id (Arabic قابوس بن سعيد آل سعيد , DMG Qābūs b. Saʿīd Āl Saʿīd; * 18. November 1940 in Salala; † 10. January 2020 in Muscat) was in Salala from 23. July 1970 until his death Sultan of Oman. He was succeeded by his cousin Haitham ibn Tariq. [1]


Youth and education

Qabus ibn Said was the only son of Sultan Said ibn Taimur and his second wife, Princess Mazun. He is the eighth direct descendant of the Al-Bu-Sa’id dynasty founded by Imam Ahmad ibn Sa’id in 1741. He spent his childhood in Salala, where he was taught by an Arab scholar. At the age of 17, he was sent by his father to a private school in Bury St Edmunds (United Kingdom) in September 1958. In 1960, he entered the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst as a cadet. He was then ordered to join a British infantry battalion of the Rhine Army as a second lieutenant in 1962 and served for seven months in Minden, Germany. [2] This was linked to the hope of gaining experience for building a modern Omani army. [3]

After his service, he was trained in administrative and economic matters in the United Kingdom, so that he could later build a modern administration in Oman. He then went on a three-month world tour accompanied by British Major Leslie Chauncey. [4] In 1964, Qabus returned to Oman and, at his father’s request, spent the next six years in Salala. According to official information, during this time he was engaged in the study of Islam and the cultural and historical past of his country. [5] Thereby the backwardness of his country did not remain hidden to him. [6]

Seizing power

On 23. July 1970, he deposed his father in a coup d’etat with the help of the young sheikh Buraik ibn Hamud al-Ghafiri [7]. It should have been bloodless, but Sultan Said ibn Taimur was not ready to give up easily. Although he was abandoned by most of his followers, he attempted a last desperate resistance. He pulled out his automatic pistol and fired wildly. In the process, Buraik was hit in the thigh. After the Sultan emptied his magazine, he attempted to reload. Due to the excitement, he shot himself in the foot in the process, thus ending the altercation. After that, he submitted to his fate and signed the abdication deed. After initial medical care, he was flown into exile in London, where he died two years later at The Dorchester. [8]


Initially, Qabus was preoccupied with securing his rule. Only when Prime Minister Tariq was deposed was he able to take over the government personally. In the period that followed, fighting the socialist-oriented guerrilla movement in Dhofar, which was supported by South Yemen, was the most important goal of domestic policy. After the guerrilla movement Popular Front for the Liberation of Oman Having controlled much of Dhofar when it came to power, the government, with British and Iranian support, succeeded in pushing back the insurgents, who suffered a heavy defeat at Mirbat in 1972. With the help of an amnesty, Dhofar was pacified again by 1975.

Since taking power, Qabus has sought to open up and modernize the country. In addition to lifting restrictions on entry and exit, Oman still joined the UN and the Arab League in 1971. The oil crisis of 1973 and the rising prices of petroleum enabled Oman to generate large revenues, which were invested in modernizing infrastructure, education, and health services. For these goals, a first five-year plan for 1976 to 1980 was drawn up with the help of the IMF. Since the 1980s, investment has focused more on industrial development and agricultural modernization. However, Oman remains heavily dependent on oil exports.

Under Qabus, Oman’s feudal society was successfully transformed into a modern industrial society within a few decades, while retaining its traditions. Since 1981, increased economic cooperation with neighboring states has been sought within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Despite the far-reaching modernization of society, a liberalization of political life has not yet taken place.

Qabus has served as prime minister, defense minister, finance minister, foreign minister, and president of Oman’s central bank. [Since 1991, there has been an advisory state council whose members are appointed at the local level.

Qabus launched a project in 1976 to reintroduce the snow-white Arabian oryx antelopes, which were wiped out in Oman in 1972 (Oryx leucoryx) to resettle the oryx in the Omani desert. He also founded the Sultan Qaboos Environment Prize, which is awarded every two years by UNESCO for services to environmental protection. In 2007, the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary project was launched but discontinued again.

In March 2011, Qabus announced constitutional reforms following demonstrations in Muscat. Oman was to be transformed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. [10] However, this was not realized until his death.


Sultan Qaboos was considered a liberal Muslim of the Ibadi persuasion. The Ibadis have traditionally been the rulers of Oman. However, due to the large influx of Sunni immigrants, it is unclear today whether the Ibadis are still the majority in Oman. Sultan Qabus financed the construction of numerous mosques, u. a. the Great Sultan Qabus Mosque in the Busher district of Muscat, the Sultan Qabus Mosque in Salala, the Said-ibn-Taimur Mosque in the Al-Khuwair district of Muscat (in memory of his father) or the Mazun Mosque (in memory of his mother), but also that of meeting places of other religious communities (Protestant and Catholic churches and Hindu temples). [11]

The sultan was a lover of classical music. On his initiative, the Royal Symphony Orchestra of Oman was founded in 1985. The orchestra consists exclusively of Omani musicians. Young musical talent was supported by the state in boarding schools. 2011 the Royal Opera House in Muscat was opened. [12]

Sultan Qabus married on 22. March 1976 in Muscat his cousin Princess Sayyida Kamila bint Tariq Al Sa’id (* 20. November 1951). However, the childless marriage was divorced after three years; after that, Qabus did not remarry. However, the succession and thus the continuation of the Sa’id dynasty and the monarchy for the future are regulated in the Omani constitution of 1996. Accordingly, the crown council, which consists of 50 male members of the ruling family, is to appoint his successor within three days of a sultan’s death. If the Crown Council cannot agree on a successor, the members of the Defense Council, the chairman of the Supreme Court, the Consultative Council, and the State Council should jointly open a sealed envelope in which Sultan Qabus had named the successor to the throne of his choice and enthrone the person named therein. [13]

Due to a bowel cancer disease [14], he traveled to Germany in July 2014 for medical treatment and returned to Oman after eight months in March 2015 – completely cured, according to official reports. [15] In December 2019, Qabus arrived in Leuven, Belgium, to undergo several weeks of treatment at the university hospital there (UZ Leuven). In a press release, the hospital informed after a few days that the treatment had been terminated in consultation with the patient and that Qabus had returned to Oman. [16] He died on 10. January 2020 at the age of 79 in office.

Royal estates and yachts

Sultan Qabus had a total of eight royal palaces (for example, al-Alam Palace in Muscat) as well as two royal yachts: the Al Said and the newer and larger Fulk Al Salamah [17] along with escort ship. In Germany he owned a summer residence near Garmisch-Partenkirchen. [18]

In Vienna, Sultan Qabus owned the "Angervilla", [19] which had previously been the property of King Hussein of Jordan and had been lavishly renovated by him.

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