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Risk Management Report: Oman

POLITICS: Oman has been governed since 1970 by Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said, the 14th ruler of the Al-Busaidi dynasty, founded in 1750. Qaboos, who deposed his father in a coup, relies on a variety of allies typically drawn from the merchant elite, rather than his relatively small family. He was briefly married but has no children or heir apparent; finalising the succession (which is likely to go to one of three cousins) is an increasingly pressing concern, as he has been seriously ill since mid-2014. The downward trend arrow on Oman’s political risk grade reflects the potential for instability, not only due to uncertainty over who will succeed, but also because a change in leadership could open the door to greater public pressure for political reform – from a population of whom roughly 45% are under 20 years old.

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