Share article:
Share article:

Who is the Sultan who took over Leuven?

The sultan had reportedly been struggling with his health since 2014. Credit: Wikipedia

The sultan of Oman, Qaboos bin Said al Said, who was staying in Leuven since Saturday 7 December, to receive treatment at the Leuven University Hospital, has since left the city.

Qaboos bin Said al Said, the 79-year-old sultan of Oman, has struggled with his health since 2014, according to Het Nieuwsblad. He has undergone months of treatment in Germany before, and is now in Leuven, where he is also receiving treatment.

According to the official press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the sultan is here “to undergo a series of medical examinations.” Details of the treatment at the UZ Leuven are not available, but according to reports from The Economist, the sultan suffers from an unspecified cancer. He has rarely been seen out in public in recent years, except to prove he is still alive.

The sultan is not married and has no children, making him an exception among the Arab heads of state. The uncertainty about who will follow in his footsteps after his death causes lots of speculation in the Arab world, which is why the reports of his stay in Leuven have aroused a great deal of interest.

Qaboos is not only the sultan of Oman, but also its Commander in Chief of the Army, and Prime Minister. He holds the official titles of both Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence, but has other Ministers who are responsible for the departments by proxy. He is currently the longest-serving leader in the Middle East and the Arab world.

Related News:

 

The sultan was staying in the centre of Leuven, in a four-star hotel that has closed its doors to all bookings until the end of January, to receive him.

The several hundred guests who had booked rooms at the hotel and tables at the restaurant in the Leuven hotel over the holiday period will have to make alternative arrangements. So far, the hotel has declined to comment on any aspect of the matter, including the possibility rejected guests will be compensated in any way.

Earlier on Monday, several Belgian media reported that the sultan had several black vans parked on the Grote Markt in Leuven, which normally bans all motorised vehicles except police and public transport from entering of parking in the pedestrian area of the city. However, a spokesperson for the local police, Nicholas Del Pieron, told HLN that police were aware of the vans’ presence in the square and that all measures were “taken in accordance with the security services.”

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Experts call for more widespread use of masks as figures rise
As coronavirus figures continue to rise, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo has suggested that people return to wearing masks when indoors with ...
Belgium wants to recover €420 million in wrongfully paid out coronavirus aid
The Belgian State intends to recover €420 million of unduly paid Covid-19 aid, La Libre Belgique reported on Thursday. The electronic Council of ...
Why the fight for transgender rights is polarising Europe 
Year after year, Samuel De Schepper would ask Santa Claus to bring him a penis for Christmas. Born female and attending an all girl’s Catholic ...
New offshore wind farm officially opened
Despite being operational since the end of 2020, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated on Wednesday by Prime Minister Alexander ...
Contact tracers have no time for calls, only texts, amid rising cases
Contract tracers will no longer make phone calls to the high-risk contacts of people who test positive for the coronavirus beginning from Wednesday, ...
Belgium holds on to top spot in FIFA rankings despite recent losses
Once again, Belgium's Red Devils have held onto their position at the top of the world football rankings, according to an update released by the ...
Proximus pushes for high-speed internet in Brussels and Wallonia
Fifteen municipalities in Wallonia should soon have access to high-speed internet through the rollout of fibre optics in the region, telecoms giant ...
Why Belgium is regulating sex work
After decades of confusing rules and hypocritical policy, Belgium is finally regulating sex work by removing prostitution from the criminal law. ...
World’s largest chocolate warehouse opens in Flanders
On Thursday, Barry Callebaut – the largest global chocolate processor and manufacturer – opened the world's largest chocolate warehouse in Lokeren, ...
Belgium in Brief: Equal Opportunity To Dance
There's a phrase where I'm from, more often said in jest nowadays, but it came to my mind this morning: "Ye dancin'?" (Are you dancing?), one ...
Farmer discovers cocaine in banana boxes bought in Brussels
A Flemish farmer who purchased boxes of bananas at the market in Brussels on Tuesday came home to discover large amounts of cocaine packed among the ...
Changes to speed cameras increase likelihood of a ticket
Changes to the way speed cameras work in Flanders and Wallonia will increase the likelihood of receiving a ticket when cars pass them above the ...