Get to know Ahad Al Busaidiyah, first lady of Oman, as she marks her birthday

The Omani royal is known for her style, particularly her classy abayas

Ahad Al Busaidiyah, first lady of Oman, wife of Sultan Haitham. Photos: @amalalraisiofficial, @Imad_hasan / Instagram
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The first lady of Oman, Ahad Al Busaidiyah, is celebrating her birthday on Tuesday.

On Instagram, the Royal Oman Family shared a portrait of the first lady, wearing a sheer black robe over an intricately patterned yellow dress.

Al Busaidiyah is relatively new to the public eye, debuting in 2020 when her husband, Sultan Haitham, assumed the Omani leadership following the death of Sultan Qaboos in January of the same year. Since then, the first lady has taken on a series of public roles.

She delivered her first public speech on Omani Women's Day on October 17, 2020, where it immediately became apparent how she could become the face of women empowerment in the sultanate. In her speech, Al Busaidiyah highlighted how her husband is continuing the work of the late Sultan Qaboos in promoting women to prominent government roles.

Earlier this year, the first lady, who has a degree in sociology, attended the graduation ceremony of hundreds of women police officers in Nizwa, south of Muscat.

Although new to the public eye, Al Busaidiyah's family has always been close to Omani leadership. Her father, Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Busaidi, was appointed as the undersecretary for justice in the Ministry of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs in 1984, and in 1990, he became the governor of Musandam.

Her sister is married to Shihab bin Tariq, Oman's Deputy Prime Minister for Defense Affairs and the brother of Sultan Haitham.

Al Busaidiyah and the Sultan have four children — Bilarab bin Haitham, Thuraya bint Haitham, Omaima bint Haitham and Dhi Yazan bin Haitham, who is poised to become Oman's first Crown Prince. Oxford-educated Dhi Yazan, who currently serves as the sultanate's Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, is married to Meyyan bint Shihab Al Said.

Fashion choices

The first lady has become known for her fashion choices, and often sports statement pieces from local designers, becoming something of a style leader similar to other Arab royalties.

An official portrait released in 2021 showed Al Busaidiyah wearing a bespoke white gown with dusty rose embroidery by Omani designer Amal Al Raisi, who she often patronises. The portrait was taken by local photographer Imad Hasan, who shared the picture on Instagram with the caption: “It has been a tremendous privilege that I’m much thankful for. Thank you for being the epitome of care and giving to the people of Oman.”

The first lady also wore Al Raisi during a diplomatic meet at Al Alam Palace in Muscat in February 2022. The ensemble comprised a pink traditional dress embellished with sequins along the wrists and the neckline, draped over by a purple tulle scarf.

In another official portrait, Al Busaidiyah sported a velvet jalabiya in light teal, with gold embroidery, and paired with a matching shayla by Omani designer Nawal Al Hooti.

Updated: April 04, 2023, 10:51 AM