Sultan Qaboos bin Said, ruler of Oman, broadcast a speech on 5 November to celebrate Oman’s National Day on 18 November as he is unable to travel to Oman for the celebrations.

The 73 year-old monarch has been receiving medical treatment in Germany since 10 July.

Sultan Qaboos has ruled Oman for 44 years, and is widely credited with modernising the country, using its oil revenues to create infrastructure, education and health programmes. However, Oman faces dwindling hydrocarbon reserves, high unemployment among nationals and an unclear succession.

He has no direct heir and has not officially chosen a successor. If the ruling family is unable to appoint a new sultan unanimously within three days of his demise, a letter containing his preference will be opened.