Muscat becomes capital city. Al-Busaids take title of Sultan. [1]


Treaty with British government. [1]


Treaty of Protection with British government. [1]


Omani empire divided into two: Zanzibar is split from Muscat and Oman. [1]


Treaty of Peace, friendship and navigation with Britain. [1]


Death of Sultan Turki results in tribal unrest. [1]


Interior tribes ride on Muscat, repelled by British. [1]


Sultan and Imam sign treaty at Seeb. [1]


Treaty of Peace, friendship and navigation with Britain. [1]


Treaty of Peace, friendship and navigation with Britain. [1]


Saudis ejected from Buraimi oasis by British and Omanis. [1]

1954 onwards:

Clashes resume between Imamite forces, seeking an independent state in the interior, and those of the sultan. [2]


Power of Imamate curbed in the interior by joint Sultan and British action. [1]


July - Britain begins military intervention in Oman in support of extremely repressive regime against rebellion by Omani Liberation Army. The OLA were backed by King Saud of Saudi Arabia, US oil company Aramco and Egypt's president Nasser. SAS fights covert war and RAF conducts wide-spread bombing of villages and strongholds, defeating rebels by 1959. [3]


Sultan Said bin Taimur regains control of the interior. His rule is characterised by a fuedal and isolationist approach. [2]


Oil reserves are discovered; extraction begins in 1967. [2]

Britain begins second war in support of Oman regime, against the Popular Front for the Liberation of the Occupied Arabian Gulf, fought mainly covertly by the SAS. The ‘Dhofar Rebellion’ is defeated by 1975. [3] [1]


The UN General Assembly passes a resolution recognising Oman's right to self- determination, stating that this is being prevented by Britain's colonial presence and calling on Britain to withdraw. Britain brushes aside the UN's calls. [3]


July - British coup in Oman overthrows Sultan and installs his son. Sultan Qaboos remains in power today. The coup is sanctioned by Harold Wilson and carried out shortly after the Heath government takes power in the June general lection. A detachment form the Omani army surrounds the Sultan's palace and British flown aircraft from the Omani air force drop teargas bombs, providing cover for military advance. British officials organise everything but express 'amazement' at suggestions in the Guardian that they might have anything to do with the coup. Britain installs the old Sultan in the Dorchester hotel in London where he dies two years later. [3]


The new Sultan is immediately surrounded by British advisers and officers, including a four-man SAS unti entrusted with his personal protection. Under cover of a 'British army training team', an SAS unit organises irregular forces to fight the rebels and British forces number 1,000 by 1974. They include a psychological operations unit that undertakes leaflet drops and radio broadcasts to guerilla-held areas. [3]

Customary methods are used in countering the rebels. One British army officer states that they 'burnt down rebel villages and shot their goats and cows. Any enemy corpses that we recovered were propped up in a corner of the [main city's market] as a salutary lesson to any would be freedom fighters'. [3]

Assistance is also provided by Iran, Jordan, and the US via Saudi Arabia. By 1975 the last group of rebels surrenders or crosses the border into Yemen. [3]


The US and Oman sign two agreements. One provides access to Omani military facilities by U.S. forces under agreed-upon conditions. The other agreement establishes a Joint Commission for Economic and Technical Cooperation, located in Muscat, to provide U.S. economic assistance to Oman. [4]


Oman is a founding member of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. [2]


Sultan Qaboos issues a decree which allows women from across the country to stand for election to - and vote for - the majlis al-shura or Consultative Council. Two women are duly elected to the body. [2]


Oman and neighbouring United Arab Emirates (UAE) sign a border agreement defining most of their disputed common frontier. [2]


October - Large-scale British-Omani military exercises in the Omani desert coincide with the launch of strikes against the Taleban in Afghanistan. [2]


November - Sultan Qaboos extends voting rights to all citizens over the age of 21. Voters were previously chosen from among tribal leaders, intellectuals and businessmen. [2]


October - First elections to the majlis al-shura in which all citizens over the age of 21 are entitled to vote produce little change in the political make-up of the lower house. [2]