Oman’s new ruler Haitham bin Tariq promises good ties with all nations

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The 65-year-old cousin of late Sultan Qaboos was sworn in as the new royal ruler on Saturday morning. (AFP)
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Tariq Al-Said was the minister of heritage and national culture, and the cousin of Sultan Qaboos. He graduated from Oxford University in 1979 after studying the Foreign Service Programme. (File/AFP)
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Updated 13 January 2020

Oman’s new ruler Haitham bin Tariq promises good ties with all nations

  • The 65-year-old newly appointed sultan was Oman's former culture minister
  • He graduated from Oxford University in 1979 after studying the Foreign Service Programme

MUSCAT: Oman's new ruler Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said promised on Saturday to maintain the Gulf Arab state's foreign policy which he said was built on peaceful coexistence and maintaining friendly ties with all nations.

In a speech broadcast on state television, he also called for efforts to develop the relatively small oil producer, continuing the path of his predecessor Sultan Qaboos bin Said who died on Friday. Qaboos, who built modern Oman, had acted as a regional mediator. 

The 65-year-old cousin of late Sultan Qaboos was sworn in as the new royal ruler on Saturday morning, the government said

"Haitham bin Tariq was sworn in as the new sultan of the country... after a meeting of the family which decided to appoint the one who was chosen by the sultan," the government said in a tweet.

In his first speech as sultan, Haitham pledged to follow the non-interference policy that made the sultanate a vital regional mediator under Sultan Qaboos who reigned for half a century.

"We will follow the path of the late sultan," he said, dressed in the Omani royals' signature coloured turban and gold-trimmed robes.

He expressed support for "our country's foreign policy of peaceful living among nations and peoples... and not interfering in the internal affairs of others, respecting nations' sovereignty and international cooperation".

And he said that under his reign, Oman would continue to "promote peaceful solutions" to regional and global crises.




An image grab taken from Oman TV on January 11, 2020, shows Oman's newly sworn-in Sultan Haitham bin Tariq arriving to the Grand Mosque in the capital Muscat to take part in the funeral of Sultan Qaboos. (AFP)

Sultan Qaboos, the longest-reigning leader of the modern Arab world who died Friday at the age of 79, was unmarried and had no children, and left no apparent heir.

Tariq Al-Said, a sports enthusiast, held the position of undersecretary of the ministry of foreign affairs for political affairs before becoming the minister of heritage and culture in the mid-1990s.

He graduated from Oxford University in 1979 after studying the Foreign Service Programme and was the first head of Oman's football federation in the early 80s.

Tariq Al-Said often played an important diplomatic role representing Oman abroad and welcoming Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, for example, upon their arrival to the country for a visit in 2016.

(With agencies)


Dubai puts iconic neighborhood, Al Ras, in lockdown amid coronavirus fears

Updated 31 min 31 sec ago

Dubai puts iconic neighborhood, Al Ras, in lockdown amid coronavirus fears

  • Al Ras will be closed from March 31 to April 14
  • The move is part of the national sterelization program to fight COVID-19

DUBAI: Travel to and from Al Ras, a densely populated area in old Dubai where the Deira Gold Souk is, was suspended from Tuesday, as the UAE undergoes a nationwide sterilization program to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Although travel restrictions were put across the country, Al Ras was the first area to be in full lock down. Residents will not be allowed to leave their homes, and visitors will be restricted entry to the area from Tuesday, March 31 to Tuesday, April 14.

Roads leading into the zone will be closed during the period, as well as three metro stations.

The UAE’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management ordered the lock down to facilitate “intensified sterilization procedures” in the area, as reported by state-run WAM.

Other government agencies, including the Dubai Police and the Dubai Health Authority, have been tapped to ensure the success of the two-week sanitation.

Al Ras is a famous tourist destination in Dubai because of its distinct historical look as opposed to the rest of Dubai’s modern landscape. It is home to iconic heritage buildings, as well as traditional shops including the Spice Souk, Perfume Souk, and the Gold Souk.

The locality houses some of the oldest hotels in Dubai, as well as Al Ahmadiya School, the oldest educational institution in the emirate.