Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 02/2015

Simmering Unrest and Succession Challenges in Oman

Marc Valeri

January 2015

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


The uncertain health of the sultan of Oman has heightened concern about the future of the country, the most personalized of all Gulf monarchies. Many Omanis have long equated the country with its ruler, Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who won their loyalty by building up a state and a national identity centered on himself. However, amid mounting popular frustration, criticism of Qaboos has emerged, as has anxiety about what will follow his reign. There are several measures the regime can undertake to avoid further unrest.