Oman’s new leader Sultan Haitham this week issued 28 royal decrees including the appointment of finance and foreign affairs ministers – two key positions that his predecessor held for himself – in what appears to be his first major shakeup of the system that predecessor Sultan Qaboos established over his near 50 year rule (MEES, 17 January).

The move also signals a growing realization that Oman’s mounting economic and political issues are beyond the scope of one figure’s control. Muscat is facing a mounting economic crisis exacerbated by negligible growth and low oil prices which has seen ratings agencies continually downgrade its credit rating (MEES, 26 June). (CONTINUED - 215 WORDS)