The year 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Sultanate of Oman, making it the longest continually independent Arab country in modern history. The year also marks the passing of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said, who died on 10 January. He is succeeded by his cousin and the former minister of culture, Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al Said.
Bahrain pioneered oil production in the Middle East beginning in the 1930s, establishing the region’s initial framework for the petroleum industry. Some 90 years later oil and gas operations comprise 18% of GDP, with the economy well diversified to host established financial services and industrial sectors, as well as unique tourism offerings.