Haitham bin Tariq

Haitham bin Tariq Al Said GCMG GCVO (Arabic: هيثم بن طارق آل سعيد, romanized: Heysem bin Târık Âl Saîd; born 13 October 1954)[1][2] is the current Sultan of Oman, reigning since January 2020 following the death of his cousin, Sultan Qaboos bin Said.[3]

Haitham bin Tariq
Haitham in 2020
Sultan and Prime Minister of Oman
Minister of Defence
11 January 2020 – present
Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said
Asa'ad bin Tariq Al Said
Shihab bin Tariq Al Said
PredecessorQaboos bin Said
Heir apparentTheyazin bin Haitham
Minister of Heritage and Culture
TenureMarch 2002 – 1 March 2020
Prime Minister
Sultan Qaboos
SuccessorSalem bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Tenure11 January – 18 August 2020
Prime Minister
Sultan Qaboos
PredecessorQaboos bin Said Al Said
SuccessorSayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al Busaidi
Minister of Finance
Tenure11 January – 18 August 2020
Prime Minister
Sultan Qaboos
PredecessorQaboos bin Said Al Said
SuccessorSultan bin Salem bin Saeed Al Habsi
Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Tenure1994 – 2002
Prime Minister
Sultan Qaboos
Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry for Political Affairs
Tenure1986 – 1994
Prime Minister
Sultan Qaboos
Born (1955-10-11) 11 October 1955
Muscat, Oman
Ahad bint Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Busaidiyah
(m. 1989)
  • Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham
  • Sayyid Bilarab bin Haitham
  • Sayyida Thuraya bint Haitham
  • Sayyida Omaima bint Haitham
Haitham bin Tariq bin Taimur bin Faisal bin Turki bin Said Al Said
HouseAl Said
FatherSayyid Tariq bin Taimur
MotherShawana bint Hamud bin Ahmad Al-Busaidiyah
ReligionIbadi Islam

Prior to becoming sultan, Haitham served for multiple decades in the cabinet of Sultan Qaboos bin Said, his cousin. He was Minister of Heritage and Culture from 2002 to 2020.[4][5] Sultan Qaboos named Haitham as his successor in his will, and he was proclaimed sultan on 11 January 2020, hours after Qaboos's death.[6]


Haitham bin Tariq is a son of Sayyid Tariq bin Taimur, son of Sultan Taimur bin Feisal. Haitham has six brothers and two half-sisters (Amal and Nawwal who is the former wife of Sultan Qaboos). His brother Asa'ad bin Tariq is the Deputy Prime Minister for relations and international cooperation affairs and his brother Shihab bin Tariq is the Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs (and the father of his daughter-in-law, Meyyan). His other brothers, Talal, Qais, Adham, and Faris, are all businessmen and are not involved in politics. He has four children, two sons and two daughters. His eldest son, Theyazin bin Haitham, is the crown prince of Oman.[7]

Haitham is described by The Economist as "outward-looking and Western-oriented".[8] He attended Pembroke College, University of Oxford, graduating from the Foreign Service Programme (FSP) in 1979.[9]

Political career

A sports enthusiast, Haitham served as the first head of the Oman Football Association in the early 1980s.[10] He served as the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs from 1986 to 1994, and was later appointed as the Secretary General for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1994–2002).[11][12] He was later appointed as Minister of Heritage and Culture in March 2002 and later chaired the national census committee in 2003.[13] He usually represented Oman abroad in a diplomatic capacity;[14] in 2016, he personally welcomed Charles, Prince of Wales, and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, on a visit to Oman.[15]

Haitham is also chairman of the committee for the future vision of "Oman 2040" along with being honorary president of the Oman Association for the Disabled.[16] His record in government under Sultan Qaboos bin Said has been described by The Economist as poor.[8]

Sultan of Oman

Haitham bin Tariq (right) meets with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Muscat, February 2020
Sultan Haitham is saluted by his son, Crown Prince Theyazin bin Haitham (right), following the latter's graduation from Sandhurst in July 2022

After the death of Sultan Qaboos, Haitham's first cousin, on 10 January 2020, Haitham was named by the royal family and Qaboos's will as Sultan of Oman the next day and took an oath before an emergency session of the Council of Oman in Al-Bustan.[17] Oman state TV said the former sultan's letter was opened by the Defence Council and his identity was announced shortly thereafter.[18] As sultan, he also held the positions of prime minister, supreme commander of the armed forces, minister of defence, minister of finance, and minister of foreign affairs until 18 August 2020 when he appointed Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al Busaidi as foreign minister and Sultan bin Salem bin Saeed al-Habsi as minister of finance.[19][20] In his first public speech, he promised to uphold his predecessor's peace-making foreign policy and to further develop Oman's economy.[15][21] Haitham bin Tariq is married and, unlike his predecessor, also has children, two sons and two daughters.[22][23]

On 12 January 2021, the Sultan issued a royal decree appointing his eldest son, Sayyid Theyazin, as the country's first crown prince.[24] He also changed the Basic Law of Oman to grant citizens and residents freedom of expression and opinion, removed a law that allowed the state to monitor private phone conversations, social media or postal correspondence, and granted the freedom to practice religious rites according to recognized customs provided it does not violate the public order or contradict morals.[25]

In May and June 2021, there were many protests against the Omani government over economic concerns such as unemployment and corruption.[26] Some protesters were arrested and then released.[27][26]

Haitham's visits to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Kingdom have been seen as a move to maintain peaceful and cordial relations with Oman's important partners. His visit to Saudi Arabia was the first political visit by an Omani royal to the kingdom in over a decade.[28] During his visit to the United Kingdom, he met Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle and was honoured with a GCMG.[29] On 19 September 2022, Haitham attended the state funeral of Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey, London.[30]


Styles of
Sultan Haitham bin Tariq
Reference styleHis Majesty
Spoken styleYour Majesty


  1. "Index Ha". www.rulers.org.
  2. Valeri, Marc (21 January 2020). "Oman's new sultan faces mammoth challenges". BBC. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  3. "Who is Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, the successor of Sultan Qaboos?". Gulf Times. 12 January 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
  4. "Cabinet of Ministers". Oman News Agency. Archived from the original on 31 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  5. Appointing a Minister of Heritage and Culture, Royal Decree No11/2002, issued on 14 February 2002, published in issue 713 of the Official Gazette
  6. "Oman's new ruler Haitham bin Tariq takes oath: newspapers". Reuters. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  7. "Oldest son of Oman's sultan becomes country's first crown prince". Al Jazeera. 12 January 2021. Retrieved 11 November 2022.
  8. "Sultan Qaboos, ruler of Oman for almost 50 years, has died". The Economist. 11 January 2020.
  9. "Haitham bin Tariq appointed new ruler of Oman". Arab News. 11 January 2020.
  10. "New Oman ruler chosen by agreement, or secret letter". France 24. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  11. Oman, Ministry of Legal Affairs (1986). Royal Decree No. 2/86. Official Gazette.
  12. Oman, Ministry of Legal Affairs (1994). Royal Decree No. 110/94. Official Gazette.
  13. Valeri, Marc (2009). Oman: Politics and Society in the Qaboos State. C. Hurst. pp. 97, 124. ISBN 978-1-85065-933-4. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  14. "Haitham bin Tariq appointed new ruler of Oman". Arab News. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  15. "Oman's new ruler Haitham bin Tariq promises good ties with all nations". Arab News. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  16. "The New Sultan of Oman: Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  17. "Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq Al Said succeeds Sultan Qaboos of Oman". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  18. "Oman names culture minister as successor to Sultan Qaboos". AP NEWS. 11 January 2020. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  19. "Oman transfers powers from Sultan's remit in government revamp". Reuters. 18 August 2020 via uk.reuters.com.
  20. "Haitham bin Tariq sworn in as Oman's new sultan". www.aljazeera.com.
  21. Hubbard, Ben (11 January 2020). "Oman's New Sultan Vows to Continue Country's Peacemaking Path". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  22. "Oman's new ruler chosen to provide continuity". Reuters. 11 January 2020 via www.reuters.com.
  23. "Who is the new Sultan of Oman?". Tehran Times. 13 January 2020.
  24. "Sultan's eldest son will become Oman's crown prince, new decree says". Arab News. 13 January 2021. Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  25. "Oman's Sultan Haitham guarantees freedom of expression". The National. 15 January 2021. Retrieved 15 January 2021.
  26. "Oman's New Sultan Sees First Labor Protests".
  27. "'Controlling the situation': Oman leader quickly quells protests".
  28. "Sultan Haitham in Saudi Arabia in first visit by Omani leader in over a decade". gulfnews.com. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  29. "Queen Elizabeth hosts Sultan of Oman at Windsor Castle". The National. 15 December 2021. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  30. "Queen Elizabeth II's Funeral: Arab Royals Pay Their Respects Ahead of The Ceremony". Harper's Bazaar. 19 September 2022. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
  31. "Bahraini King holds talks with Sultan of Oman". Emirates News Agency. 25 October 2022. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  32. "Jordan's King Abdullah in Oman, Exchange Medals With Sultan Haitham". Al Bawaba. 5 October 2022. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  33. "His Majesty, Emir of Qatar exchange honours". Times of Oman. 22 November 2021. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
  34. "UAE President, the Sultan of Oman exchange medals and gifts". wam. 27 September 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022.
  35. AGENCY (ONA), OMAN NEWS (2020). "H-M-Sultan". Oman News Agency. Retrieved 29 December 2021.
  36. AGENCY (ONA), OMAN NEWS (16 December 2021). "Queen Elizabeth II confers on HM the Sultan honorary Knight Grand Cross". Oman Observer. Retrieved 16 December 2021.
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