Sultan Qaboos remembered on Oman's 51st national day

Sultan Haitham pardoned 328 prisoners on the occasion

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Oman celebrated its 51st national day on Thursday as congratulations poured in from around the world.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, posted a congratulatory message to the people of Oman along with a song dedicated to the country.

Kuwait lit up its towers with the Omani flag on Wednesday evening while the UAE said it is hosting a number of events and shows to mark the occasion.

People also took the occasion as an opportunity to remember Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said who passed away in January last year.

Social media users posted images of decorations commemorating the former leader who ruled the country for 50 years.

"In the most poignant expressions of love: You have the world and we have the memories of Qaboos," one social media user wrote along with an image of that phrase displayed on a vehicle.

"He will be in our hearts forever," another person wrote along with an image of the former Sultan.

Before the country's 51st anniversary, Sultan Haitham bin Tarik pardoned 328 prisoners including 107 foreigners, Oman's state news agency said on Thursday.

In a slight change from its usual grandiose celebrations, Oman is doing without the luminescent street decorations this year as the government pays mind to spending to create jobs for citizens amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Others shared a portrayal of Sultan Qaboos symbolically passing the mantle to Sultan Haitham.

Keeping up with its annual tradition, Google issued a doodle for the occasion with the Omani flag flapping in the wind, as it has done every year on the country's national day.

Fireworks are expected to go off in the Governorate of Muscat on Thursday and in Dhofar on Friday at 8pm local time, Oman's state news agency said. Sultan Haitham attended a military parade in the capital on Thursday, the news agency said.

The day is also considered a national holiday for public and private organisations to allow citizens and residents of the country to celebrate and exchange congratulations.

Oman is known in the Middle East and Arabian Gulf for its reputation as the Switzerland of the region because of its often neutral position in political conflicts and ability to broker peace between clashing nations and interests.

Updated: November 18, 2021, 2:30 PM