This week Oman celebrates both the 75th birthday of HM Sultan Qaboos and the 45th year of his rule.
With this in mind, OmanGBnews.com sought the views of a number of high-profile British and Omani ambassadors to discuss the achievements of His Majesty’s 45 years in power.
Chris Breeze, the Oman country chairman of UK multi-national Shell, said: “His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s clear and inspirational vision for Oman has transformed the country into the progressive and tolerant nation it is in 2015. Shell celebrates Oman’s National Day with admiration for the accomplishments of the Omani Renaissance under the wise leadership of HM Sultan Qaboos over the past 45 years. This national occasion is a symbol of Omani pride and is also an opportunity for us in Shell to celebrate our long-term partnership with Oman and its people as we reflect on the past, celebrate the present and aspire to a better future.
“Employees across all our Omani partner companies are committed to His Majesty’s vision and to Oman and its people. Shell remains committed to helping Oman meet its growing energy demands in a safe and responsible manner and contributing to the generation of the wealth needed to develop the country further under His Majesty’s wise leadership for many years to come.
“We also aim to contribute to local communities and small and medium sized enterprises through our social investment programmes. We always seek new opportunities to leverage Shell's global expertise, people and technology to ensure that our Omani partner companies remain successful, world-class and competitive, thereby contributing to the development and prosperity of the Omani energy sector and economy.
“We look forward to many more years of association with this country and its people and to supporting a sustainable energy future for Oman.”
Anglo-Omani Society director Oliver Blake, chairman of the New Generation Group, was not only born in Oman, the Sultanate continues to be a huge part of his family’s life.
“It has been incredible to witness the country’s development in so many different areas - health, education, infrastructure, commerce, maritime and ports to name but a few,” he said. “All of this has been possible thanks to the wise rule of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, a monarch who is dearly loved by his people for all that he has done.
“In addition to the country’s appetite for innovation, it is reassuring to see the Omani people remaining true to their traditions, history and culture. More than anything, it is a combination of the wonderful people and His Majesty’s leadership that makes Oman so very special in all of our hearts.”
Simon Cook, Oman Air’s UK country manager, spoke of Oman’s growing confidence in the modern world.
“As the Sultanate of Oman’s national airline, Oman Air is proud to celebrate the Sultanate of Oman’s 45th National Day,” he said. “The achievements of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos since he came to the throne in 1970 are immense. The country has undergone a renaissance which has seen Oman emerge as a dynamic and confident nation whose people enjoy enduring peace and security.
“Amongst Oman’s many achievements, the establishment and subsequent success of Oman Air has helped to raise awareness of the Sultanate around the world. Our reputation for offering award-winning staff service and the highest standards of products and services, is a reflection of Oman’s rich culture and unique hospitality.
“At this very special time in Oman’s calendar, we join the people of the Sultanate in offering our gratitude and warmest wishes to His Majesty.”
Lawyer Paul Sheridan, a managing partner at Dentons in Oman, said: "Our law firm first opened an office in Muscat in 1981 so, together with the people of Oman and other foreign investors, we have had the honour and privilege of being part of the National Day celebrations for almost 35 years. We have seen, and indeed been part of, the country's incredible development during this time, all under the wise guidance and leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.
“Today, more than 30 per cent of the lawyers in our office are Omanis, many qualified in foreign jurisdictions as well as in Oman. They have been given this opportunity as a result of His Majesty's policies supporting education, the rule of law and hard work. We are proud of them and are honoured to support their continued development. We wish His Majesty, and all who have contributed to the prosperity of Oman, a happy, healthy and peaceful 45th National Day.”
Maggie Jeans, chair of the British Business Forum in Oman, has also witnessed the development of Oman under HM Sultan Qaboos’s leadership.
“Oman's Renaissance is a remarkable achievement,” she said. “To bring a country up to speed with the modern world in such a short time whilst retaining its integrity, culture and values is entirely due to the wise leadership of HM. Priority has always been given to developing the country's infrastructure, its road systems and air and sea ports. Free education is available at all levels as well as an exceptionally high level of healthcare.
“HM also has a key role in the region as a peacemaker and Oman's foreign policy is second to none. We've been involved in the development of Oman for 25 years. Now we have a world-class Royal Opera House and a democratically elected assembly in an imposing parliament building - we wouldn't have anticipated this when we arrived in 1990.”