Muscat: His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said was born in Salalah, in Dhofar, the most southerly city of the state on November 18 , 1940. He is the only son of Sultan Said bin Taimur, the 8th generation of the Al Busaidi dynasty. He was the only son of the late Sultan Said bin Taimur and the eighth direct descendant of the royal Al Busaidi line founded in 1744 by Imam Ahmad bin Said. Sultan Qaboos spent his childhood in Salalah.
When he reached the age of 16, his father sent him to a private school in England, and in 1960 he entered The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an officer cadet. After passing out of Sandhurst, he joined a British Infantry battalion on operations in Germany for one year and also held a staff appointment with the British Army.
After his military service, Sultan Qaboos studied local government subjects in England and, after a world tour, returned home to Salalah where he studied Islam and the history of his country. On the abdication of his father and his subsequent accession on July 23, 1970, Sultan Qaboos moved to Muscat to implement his vision for the country’s development.
In his first address to the nation, he declared that the country would be unified as the Sultanate of Oman, with a new flag, and ended restrictions on freedom of movement. He called on Omanis who had left the country to return home in order to contribute to the challenges that lay ahead and to use their talents and expertise to modernise a once powerful nation that had fallen into poverty and decline.
Since this time, Sultan Qaboos has faced many obstacles. Oman today has an excellent health service, a clear road network and many educational establishments for girls and boys, from nursery levels, to university degrees. Sultan Qaboos is a renowned peacemaker. Each year, Oman celebrates his reign on National Day, which falls on November 18.