Oman appoints first Crown Prince as it reforms law on royal succession

James Rothwell
Omani Minister of Sport Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham - AFP/AFP
Omani Minister of Sport Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham - AFP/AFP

Oman has appointed an Oxford-educated 30-year-old as its first Crown Prince, as the Gulf state reforms its laws of succession to improve stability in the royal family.

Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said will be succeeded by his eldest son Theyazin, according to a law published on Tuesday, which creates the new position of Crown Prince.

Crown Prince Theyazin, who recently worked at Oman’s embassy in London, served as minister for sport, culture and youth before his appointment.

Sultan Haitham had announced plans for the constitutional change on Monday, a year after the death of his predecessor, Sultan Qaboos.

Sultan Qaboos fathered no children and designated no successor publicly during his 49-year reign.

Instead he left a sealed envelope at the royal palace in the capital of Muscat which expressed his wish for Sultan Haitham to become his successor.

Qaboos, who died aged 79, had taken power by overthrowing his father, and since then there have been some concerns about the stability of the line of succession.

Dr Cinzia Bianco, an expert on Gulf states at the European Council on Foreign Relations, said investors in Oman who were concerned about royal stability had lobbied for the reforms for some time.

“He is involved in the hotpots of Omani politics,” she wrote in a post on Twitter, pointing out that he sat in the first row along with the county’s notable figures at a recent ceremony.

The Crown Prince is expected to devote much of his time to engaging with the youth of Oman, where more than 40 per cent of the population is under 15.