Haitham bin Tariq is the cousin of Sultan Qaboos, who passed away on Friday.
The new Sultan, born on October 13, 1954 in Muscat, is a prominent member of the ruling al-Said family.
After graduating from Oxford University in 1979, he pursued postgraduate studies at the Pembroke College. He has held various positions in the Omani government.
Before his inauguration as Sultan of Oman on Saturday , Haitham bin Tariq has held the portfolio of the Minister of Heritage and Culture for a period of 18 years (2002-2020).
General Sultan bin Mohamed al Nomani (L) shows a letter from the envelope which contained the will of the late Sultan Qaboos in the capital Muscat, as Khaled Hilal Abu Saiidi (C), Oman's Minister of Royal Office Affairs and Yahia bin Mahfuz al-Mutazari (R), the head of Oman's State Council look on, on January 11, 2020. Sultan Qaboos had mentioned the name of his cousin Haitham bin Tariq as his 'successor'
He was a keen sport enthusiast - he was the first president of the Omani Football Association (from1983 and 1986), which was also the reason for his appointment in 2010 as Chairman of the National Organising Committee for the Asian Games.
Haitham bin Tariq moved from the sports sector to the diplomatic field in 1986, where he took the position of Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Political Affairs for eight years (1986-1994).
In 1994, Sultan Qaboos appointed him Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before he was appointed in 2002 as Minister of Heritage and Culture, a position he held until his inauguration as Sultan of Oman on January 11, 2020.
In addition to the portfolio of the Ministry of Culture, Haitham bin Tariq al-Said also was in charge of the Committee for Future Vision, which the late Sultan had entrusted with planning for the future of Oman until 2040. The future vision “Oman 2040” serves as a key guide and reference for planning in the next two decades.
The new Sultan focuses on the youth component for Oman's further development. In a previous press statement, Haitham bin Tariq said during a meeting with young people that within the framework of the Oman Vision 2040 project many laws will be reviewed after the adoption of the vision and that the programme on which the vision of the future of Oman will be based is on “What the Omani Youth Are Looking For.”