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TAS ICONS: Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi, the man who transformed football in Oman

TAS News Service
November 18, 2020 8:55 pm

Shakespeare’s Orsino asked for an excess of music in the hope that too much of it could actually cure him of his obsession with love, but for the chairman of Sabco group music is what sets the rhythm for his multi-faceted roles and responsibilities in Oman’s social, cultural, sport and business life.

Sabco Group is home to 22 companies, including Amouage, one of the well-known niche fragrance and luxury brands in the world, and its chairman Sayyid Khalid bin Hamad Al Busaidi’s contributions towards the growth of the country is immense. Known to have diversified interests, responsibilities and talents, Al Busaidi is, however, best known for his role as chairman of the Oman Football Association (OFA) from 2007 to 2016.

Under his leadership the Oman national team won the 19th Gulf Cup for the first time ever in 2009. Following this achievement, he received the Order of Oman Civil Decoration from the late His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

He was the first-ever elected chairman of the OFA in the first direct elections to be held in Oman and the Gulf region in 2007.

He delivered a comprehensive vision for the future of Omani football, entitled ‘Transforming football into a prosperous industry’, which gained the admiration of the then Fifa president, Joseph Sepp Blatter, as well as the then Asian Football Confederation (AFC) president, Mohammed bin Hammam Al Abdullah, who invited him to visit Fifa and AFC to learn more about his vision. “I always want – ed to bring about a change in the way the game was run in the country and I am happy that I could contribute my services to that,” Al Busaidi says.

During his time as OFA chairman he managed to build a wide network of relationships with sports associations at regional and international levels as well as accelerating achievements in Oman.

Before becoming OFA president Al Busaidi was president of Fanja Club (1988-1991). His presidency was marked with great sports and cultural achievements which made him one of the well-known sports and social figures in the country. One of his most significant achievements was qualifying Fanja Club, for the first time in the history of Omani sports, to the Arab football finals and achieving fourth place in the Asian finals during the same game. Furthermore, the club won the seventh football Gulf Cup for Clubs in 1989, an unparalleled achievement for an Omani club in the history of Omani sports.

In August 2019 Al Busaidi was elected chairman of the Oman Olympic Committee and currently holds this position.

Master of modern Omani music

A master of modern Omani music, Al Busaidi’s compositions have been used locally, regionally and internationally by multiple performers (most notably by singer and television personality Ahlam Al Shamsi). His most famous composition ‘The Years Glow With You’ is a national song well known and enjoyed by a wider local community.

“My lifelong interest in music began in primary school when I began playing the accordion and drums in a music group and partaking in school theatres and performances. I began composing at the age of 18 and my first two songs (titled ‘A Greeting of Love’ and ‘Bright Beacon’) were released in 1983, which was the year of the Omani youth, airing on Oman TV,” Al Busaidi recalls.

He has so far composed more than 200 songs.Al Busaidi is increasingly popular in the rest of the Arab world. An avid social media user he connects with his large following regularly through social media and popular IGTV show ‘Connect with SK’.

“If you work towards what you love, everything else becomes secondary. If you have passion towards what you’re doing, then you will surely be successful.”

Sayyid Khalid Al Busaidi

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