Qaboos ibn Said

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Qaboos ibn Said (2013)

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


Youth and education

Qabus ibn Said was the only son of Sultan Said ibn Taimur and his second wife Princess Mazun . He is in a direct line the eighth descendant of the Al-Bu-Sa'id dynasty founded by Imam Ahmad ibn Sa'id in 1741 . He spent his childhood in Salalah , where he was tutored 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 in 1962 as a second lieutenant in a British infantry battalion of the Rhine Army and served for seven months in Minden ( Germany ). This was linked to the hope of gaining experience in building a modern Omani army .

After his service he was trained in administrative and economic matters in the United Kingdom in order to be able to build up a modern administration in Oman later on. Then he went on a three-month trip around the world, accompanied by the British major Leslie Chauncey. In 1964, Qaboos returned to Oman and, at his father's request, spent the next six years in Salala . According to official sources, during this time he was engaged in the study of Islam and the cultural and historical past of his country. The backwardness of his country was not hidden from him.

Seizure of power

On July 23, 1970, he deposed his father in a coup with the help of the young Sheikh Buraik ibn Hamud al-Ghafiri . It should have been bloodless, but Sultan Said ibn Taimur was not ready to give up easily. Although abandoned by most of his followers, he made one last desperate attempt to resist. He pulled out his automatic pistol and shot wildly. Buraik was hit in the thigh. After the sultan had emptied his magazine, he tried to reload. Because of the excitement, he shot himself in the foot, ending the argument. He then submitted to his fate and signed the deed of abdication. After receiving initial medical treatment, he was flown into exile in London , where he died two years later at The Dorchester .


At first Qaboos was busy securing his rule. Only with the removal of Prime Minister Tariq could he personally take over the government. 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 had controlled large parts 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 until 1975.

Since taking over the government, Qaboos has tried to open up and modernize the country. Besides the lifting of entry and exit restrictions, Oman joined the UN and the Arab League in 1971 . Due to the oil crisis of 1973 and the rising prices for oil , Oman was able to generate high income, which was invested in the modernization of infrastructure , education and health systems . With the help of the IMF, a first five-year plan for 1976 to 1980 was drawn up for these goals . Since the 1980s, investments have focused more on industrial development and the modernization of agriculture . However, Oman is still heavily dependent on oil exports.

Under Qaboos it was possible to transform the feudal society of Oman into a modern industrial society in just a few decades while maintaining the traditions. Since 1981, the Gulf Cooperation Council has sought to strengthen economic cooperation with neighboring countries. Despite the far-reaching modernization of society, political life has not yet been liberalized.

Qaboos was prime minister, defense minister, finance minister and foreign minister as well as president of the central bank of Oman. An advisory State Council has existed since 1991, the members of which are determined at the local level.

In 1976, Qabus launched a project to reintroduce the snow-white Arabian oryx antelopes (Oryx leucoryx), which were exterminated in Oman in 1972, back into the Omani desert. He also donated 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 discontinued.

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


Sultan Qaboos was considered a liberal Muslim of the Ibadi direction . The Ibadis are traditionally the rulers in Oman. However, due to the high influx of Sunni immigrants, it is unclear today whether the Ibadis still make up the majority in Oman. Sultan Qaboos has financed the construction of numerous mosques , including a. the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in the Busher district of Muscat, the Sultan Qaboos 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 those of meeting places of other religious communities (Protestant and Catholic churches as well as Hindu temples).

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

Sultan Qaboos married his cousin Princess Sayyida Kamila bint Tariq Al Sa'id in Muscat on March 22, 1976 (born November 20, 1951). The childless marriage ended in divorce after three years; after that, Qaboos did not remarry. 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. According to this, the privy council, which consists of 50 male members of the ruling family, is to determine his successor within three days of the death of a sultan. If the Privy 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 Qaboos had named the heir to the throne of his choice and enthrone the named person .

In July 2014, he traveled to Germany for medical treatment due to colon cancer and returned to Oman after eight months in March 2015 - according to official information completely cured. In December 2019, Qabus came to Leuven in Belgium to undergo several weeks of treatment in the university hospital there (UZ Leuven). In a press release, the hospital announced after a few days that the treatment had been ended in consultation with the patient and that Qabus had returned to Oman. He died in office on January 10, 2020 at the age of 79.

Royal estates and yachts

Sultan Qaboos had a total of eight royal palace complexes (for example the al-Alam palace in Muscat ) as well as two royal yachts : the Al Said and the newer and larger Fulk Al Salamah and accompanying ship. In Germany he owned a summer residence near Garmisch-Partenkirchen .

In Vienna, Sultan Qaboos owned the “Angervilla”, which was previously owned by King Hussein of Jordan and had been extensively renovated by him.

Literature on Sultan Qaboos

  • John Peterson: Oman in the Twentieth Century. Political Foundations of an emerging State . Croom Helm u. a., London a. a. 1978, ISBN 0-85664-629-6 .
  • Calvin H. Allen: Oman. Modernization of the Sultanate . Westview Press et al. et al., Boulder CO et al. a. 1987, ISBN 0-7099-5106-X (Profiles. Nations of the contemporary Middle East) .
  • Jill Crystal: Oil and Politics in the Gulf. Rulers and Merchants in Kuwait and Qatar . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge u. a. 1990, ISBN 0-521-36639-9 ( Cambridge Middle East library 24).
  • Ian Skeet: Oman. Politics and Development . Macmillan, Basingstoke 1992, ISBN 0-333-56941-5 .
  • F. Gregory Gause III .: Oil Monarchies. Domestic and Security Challenges in the Arab Gulf States . Council on Foreign Relations Press, New York NY 1994, ISBN 0-87609-151-6 .
  • Carol Riphenburg: Oman. Political Development in a Changing World . Praeger, Westport CN et al. a. 1998, ISBN 0-275-96144-3 .
  • Calvin H. Allen Jr., W. Lynn Rigsbee II .: Oman under Qaboos. From Coup to Constitution 1970-1996 . Cass, London et al. a. 2000, ISBN 0-7146-5001-3 .
  • Sergey Plekhanov: a reformer on the throne. Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said . LINDEN SOFT, Aichwald 2012, ISBN 978-3-929290-40-0 .

Web links

Commons : Qaboos bin Said al Said  - collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. His Majesty Haitham bin Tariq sworn in as new Sultan of Oman , Times of Oman, January 11, 2020 (English).
  2. 1st Infantry Battalion of the Scottish Cameronian Regiment of the 11th Brigade.
  3. See Sergey Plekhanov: A Reformer on the Throne: Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said . Trident Press, London 2004, p. 82 ff.
  4. See Calvin H. Allen, Rigsbee II, W. Lynn: Oman under Qaboos: From Coup to Constitution 1970-1996 . Cass, London, Portland (OR) 2000, ISBN 0-7146-5001-3 .
  5. See website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the official biography of the Sultan. ( Memento from May 5, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  6. See Tony Jeapes : SAS Secret War: Operation Storm in the Middle East . Grennhill Books / Stakpole Books, London / Pennsylvania 2005, ISBN 1-85367-567-9 , p. 28.
  7. Other spellings: Bareik bin Hamud or Braik bin Hamoud ; he was after the coup to the Wali of the province Dhofar appointed.
  8. See Tony Jeapes: SAS Secret War: Operation Storm in the Middle East . Grennhill Books / Stakpole Books, London / Pennsylvania 2005, ISBN 1-85367-567-9 , p. 29.
  9. Stephen Kinzer : The joy of benevolent dictatorship , The Boston Globe, March 14, 2017
  10. ( Memento from September 6, 2012 in the web archive )
  11. Modes in Oman LIVE Updates: PM prays at Shiva temple in Muscat, visits Grand Mosque. The Indian express, February 12, 2018, accessed January 11, 2020 .
  12. ^ The Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra., accessed on January 11, 2020 .
  13. Sultan Qaboos of Oman dies aged 79. BBC News, January 11, 2020, accessed January 11, 2020 .
  15. The Secret Letter from the Sultan of Oman; Article of Deutsche Welle; Retrieved April 28, 2015.
    His Majesty Sultan Qaboos' return to Oman, Times of Oman article; accessed on April 28, 2015. ( Memento from April 26, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  16. ^ Sultan van Oman in UZ Leuven. Retrieved December 22, 2019 (Flemish).
  17. ^ Charl van Rooy: Mariotti superyacht Fulk Al Salamah delivered. July 29, 2016, accessed March 16, 2019 .
  18. Eva Stöckerl: Garmisch is the Sultan's favorite holiday destination. September 1, 2014, accessed January 11, 2020 .
  19. ^ Angervilla in the Vienna History Wiki of the City of Vienna