The Sultan of Oman and Arab world’s longest-serving ruler, Qaboos bin Said Al Said has died at the age of 79 without an heir or designated successor after ruling for 50 years.
‘With great sorrow and deep sadness… the royal court mourns His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who passed away on Friday,’ a court statement said early on Saturday.
The sultan who recently traveled to Belgium for what the court described as a medical checkup was believed to have been in poor health. There were unconfirmed reports he was suffering from cancer.
The royal court has declared three days of mourning for the unmarried Sultan who had no children and did not publicly name an heir since he seized power in a 1970 palace coup with the help of Oman’s former colonial power, Britain.
According to the sultanate’s Basic Statute, the Royal Family Council, comprising of about 50 male members will choose a new sultan within three days of the throne falling vacant.