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Near East Kingdoms

Arabic States


Sultans of Oman & Zanzibar
AD 1754 - 1856

The Âl Bu Said dynasty, of Muscat (in modern Oman), Zanzibar (a large island off the East African coast), and Oman, essentially exercised Arab sea power in the Indian Ocean until the domination of Europe became overwhelming. Initially, they ruled Oman and Zanzibar as a single entity.


Zanzibar becomes part of the holdings of the Sultanate of Oman. The Portuguese are expelled, losing their slave trade to the sultans after having made the island part of the Portuguese empire in 1503.

c.1754 - 1783

Ahmad ibn Said

1783 - 1786

Said ibn Ahmad

1786 - 1792

Hamid ibn Said

1792 - 1806

Sayyid Sultan ibn Ahmad


A treaty is signed with the British East India Company.

1800 - 1802?

The Omanis briefly occupy Bahrain. They are believed to make use of Arad Fort as it lies close to the strategic waterways between the island and Muharraq Island. In 1802 Sayyid Sultan installs his two year-old son, Salim, as governor, using the fort as a base. Expulsion by the al-Khalifa would seem to follow soon after this.

1806 - 1821

Salim ibn Sultan

Son. Aged about 6.

1806 - 1856

Said ibn Sultan


A loose coalition is formed between Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Sharjah, and Ras al Khaimah. Their vessels begin to harass and plunder vessels belonging to Oman. Abu Dhabi takes things too far and plunders two British-flagged ships. The Royal Navy and the Bombay Marine are deployed, and many of Abu Dhabi's vessels are destroyed on 16 April 1835.

As a result, the Maritime Truce of 1835 is agreed between various Persian Gulf states including Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, Sharjah, and the Trucial States. It is supervised by the Royal Navy. The General Maritime Treaty of 1820 is further enforced by deploying Bombay Marine squadrons to a base at Qeshm Island in the gulf. Initially the truce is agreed for six months, and is willingly renewed for another eight months now that the states involved have seen their levels of prosperity and security begin to improve.


Zanzibar is ruled separately by a branch of the Omani sultans.

Sultans of Oman
AD 1856 - Present Day

From 1856 the sultans ruled in Oman only, while Zanzibar was now ruled separately.

Following his bloodless seizure of the throne, Sultan Qaboos bin Said led Oman into the modern age. While he brooked no dissent, fighting off Dhofar rebels with Britain's help, Qaboos ruled with a lighter hand than many Gulf leaders and transformed the country from a backwater in which slavery was legal and which had just six miles of paved road into a wealthy modern state.

(Additional information from External Link: Sultan of Oman dies and is succeeded by cousin (The Guardian).)

1856 - 1866

Thuwaynu ibn Said

1866 - 1868

Salim ibn Thuwayni

1868 - 1870

Azzan ibn Qays

1870 - 1888

Turki ibn Said

1888 - 1913

Faysal ibn Turkî

1913 - 1932

Taymur ibn Faysal

1932 - 1970

Said ibn Taymur

Deposed by his son.


The British protectorate is ended.


Said ibn Taymur is deposed in a bloodless coup that is enacted by his son, Qaboos bin Said, with backing from Britain.

1970 - 2020

Qabus ibn Said / Qaboos bin Said

Son. Died 10 Jan 2020.


With Qaboos childless, he has followed protocol by not publicly appointing a successor. A 1996 statute says the ruling family must choose a successor or the name will come from a sealed envelope left by him. The royal family is hurriedly convened immediately to discuss the succession following his death on Friday 10 January 2020. Haitham bin Tariq al-Said, the late sultan's sixty-five year-old cousin and the heritage and culture minister since the mid-1990s, is selected as the new sultan.

2020 - Present

Haitham bin Tariq al-Said


Omani Sultans of Zanzibar
AD 1856 - 1964

From 1856 these sultans ruled in Zanzibar only, while Oman was now ruled separately.

1856 - 1870

Majid ibn Said

1870 - 1888

Barghash ibn Said

1888 - 1890

Khalifa ibn Barghash


A British Protectorate is created for Zanzibar under the terms of the Helgoland-Zanzibar Treaty in which Germany undertakes to avoid becoming involved in British interests in the area.

1890 - 1893

Ali ibn Said

1893 - 1896

Hamid ibn Thuwayni


Seyyid Khalid bin Bargash

Son of Barghash ibn Said. Usurper.


Seyyid Khalid seizes the throne against the wishes of the British, so Royal Navy ships are sent to oust him on 27 August. A 45-minute bombardment and fierce fire fight follows until Khalid flees to the German consulate, and the rightful vizier is enthroned in his place. The bombardment subsequently became known as 'The Shortest War in History'.

1896 - 1902

Hammud ibn Muhammad

1902 - 1911

Ali ibn Hammud

1911 - 1960

Khalifa ibn Kharub

1960 - 1963

Abdallah ibn Khalifa

1963 - 1964

Jamshid ibn Abdallah



Zanzibar achieves independence from Britain on 10 December. The sultan is overthrown in a coup on 12 January 1964.

1964 - Present

Zanzibar is merged with Tanganyika to form the modern Republic of Tanzania.

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