Oman’s Sultan Haitham Al Said on 22 April made his first visit to the neighboring UAE since assuming the role in 2020. The UAE afforded Sultan Haitham’s state visit all the trappings with a military aircraft escort “welcoming him to his second home, the UAE,” according to Emirati state news agency WAM. Throughout the visit both countries were keen to use fulsome language for their “fraternal” and “brotherly relations.”

Such familial regard has not always been a reality for the two GCC neighbors, with sharp differences on regional foreign policy often proving a bone of contention. But the recent visit ushers in what Eleonora Ardemagni, Senior Associate Research Fellow at Italian think tank ISPI, calls a “new political season” which is “certainly marked by good personal relations between leaders Sultan Haitham and [UAE President] Mohammed bin Zayed.” (CONTINUED - 1666 WORDS)