Oman - Sultan Qaboos bin Said

Oman - Sultan Qaboos bin Said Last updated on Wednesday 14th April 2010

Sultan Qaboos bin Said was born in Salalah in Dhofar on the 18th of November 1940. He is the only son of the late Sultan Said bin Taimur and is eighth in the direct line of the Al Busaidi dynasty by imam Ahmed bin Said in 1744.

Sultan Qaboos spent his youth in Salalah where he was educated. At the age of 16, his father sent him for education in Britain. In 1960, he joined the "Royal Military Academy" at Sandhurst as an officer cadet. He graduated at Sandhurst and joined a British infantry battalion on operational duty in Germany a year. The Sultan had also held a staff appointment with the British Army. After he finished the military service, he studied local government in England and went on a world tour before returning home. He spend the next six years after he returned to Oman in Salalah studying Islam and the history of the Sultanate and its people.

Sultan Qaboos took over power on the 23rd of July 1970. On the 9th August Sultan Qaboos made the first of many speeches setting out his vision for his people and his country. He declared that the country would have a new flag and a name "The Sultanate of Oman" instead of "Muscat and Oman". He lifted restrictions on freedom of movement and Omanis who had left the country were invited to return to take part in the forthcoming challenges ahead.

In developing his country, the Sultan has demonstrated a strong desire to preserve as much as possible of Oman's traditional character. Old cities have been brought into the twentieth century with demolishing huge areas. Modern construction has been largely confined to certain areas, both in Muscat and in provincial cities. One reason why Oman has been slow to open up to tourism is this very wish to preserve the country's traditional culture and heritage.

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