Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 February 2020

Oman's moment of change: 8 striking photos of people as they look to the future

Omanis remember Sultan Qaboos and discuss their thoughts on the country's new ruler

Omanis look to the future as a new reign begins under Sultan Haitham bin Tariq. His predecessor, Sultan Qaboos, had ruled Oman for nearly 50 years and catapulted the country into the 21st century.

When Sultan Qaboos took over, the country had 10 kilometres of paved roads, 12 hospital beds, 16 schools and a life expectancy of 49 years. He invested Oman’s oil and natural gas wealth into national infrastructure, healthcare and education and maintained a foreign policy of neutrality in a volatile region.

Looking ahead, Sultan Haitham will invest in economic diversification and job creation for the country’s youth, who make up about half of the Sultanate’s 4.6 million people.

As an era ends, The National's photographer Reem Mohammed and reporter Anna Zacharias went to Oman to speak with its people in mourning, who offer insight at this historic moment.

Look through the photo gallery to learn more about these people's stories.

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Updated: January 23, 2020 12:07 PM

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