Abu Dhabi and Oman's Protests
"Nonetheless, in late February, unrest erupted after hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in the northern port city of Sohar demanding jobs and an end to corruption. Qaboos swiftly responded by firing 12 cabinet ministers and raising government salaries while agreeing to boost unemployment benefits to 150 Oman rials (380 USD) a month. And shortly after the Sultan increased minimum wages by 40 percent, the unrest subsided almost as quickly as it had erupted.
"Some analysts, however, quickly attributed the unrest in Sohar to the neighboring United Arab Emirates (UAE). By playing up economic differences between wealthier tribe members residing on the UAE side of the border, in stark contrast to their poorer Omani 'cousins,' analysts argued that Abu Dhabi sought to send an unmistakable message to Muscat about its 'friendly' relations with Tehran.
"Since assuming power, the Sultan has played a delicate balancing game between his strategic alliance with Iran while aligning himself with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Oman is the only GCC country to carry out joint military exercises with Iran. Nonetheless, as a staunch American ally, former U.S. Vice President Dick Chaney visited the Sultanate three times during his years in office.
"In another rift with Abu Dhabi, the 10 billion USD GCC pledge to Muscat seemed to arrive at the backdrop of Omani officials announcing the uncovering of a UAE spy ring allegedly seeking to overthrow Qaboos by means of a coup d'etat, only months earlier.
"The historical mistrust between Qaboos and the UAE in particular stems from when the GCC failed to support the Sultan in his uprising against his father."
As I said, I have nothing of my own to say about this. I've just had Oman on the brain lately.