Oman is a popular destination for European tourists.
Sultan Qaboos, who has ruled the country for nearly 50 years, died Friday at the age of 79 of colon cancer. Never married, the one who never revealed his homosexuality had no designated successor, having never had a child or a brother, that is to say direct heirs.
After only a few hours of suspense, it was finally one of his cousins, Haitham ben Tarek, 65, who succeeded him this Saturday. This sports enthusiast held the post of under secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for political affairs, before becoming Minister of Heritage and Culture in the mid-1990s. He was also the first leader of the Football Federation from Oman in the early 1980s.
One of the favorites
Haitham ben Tarek was among the favorites, alongside Assad ben Tarek, 65, Deputy Prime Minister in charge of International Relations and Cooperation Affairs, and Chihab ben Tarek, 63, former navy commander and close adviser to the Sultan .
The new sultan was sworn in after a meeting of the royal family which validated the choice of a successor made by the deceased who had designated him in a letter.
According to the Omani constitution, the royal family could also within three days of the vacancy of the throne, choose itself a successor.