The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will undertake over 50 engagements in seven days during their official visits to the Sultanate of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain from 5th-11th November 2016.
Their Royal Highnesses's visit, which is at the request of the British Government, will promote the U.K.'s partnership in the region in key areas such as religious tolerance, military cooperation, supporting women in leadership, creating youth opportunities, preserving cultural heritage and wildlife conservation.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will begin the tour in Oman on 5th November as guests of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said in the capital city of Muscat. As part of their visit to Muscat, Their Royal Highnesses will visit the new National Museum where they will receive a ceremonial welcome and meet communities from the different regions of Oman showing traditional clothing and crafts. Key events in The Prince of Wales's programme will include a visit to a wildlife reserve where His Royal Highness will hear more about the conservation programme in the wadi (valley) and on the coastal plain, focussing on endangered species. The Prince will also attend an event for young leaders in Oman including John Smith Fellows, Outward Bound graduates, young people from The Prince's Trust International, members of the Anglo-Omani Society Next Generation Group, and the British Council Next Generation initiative.
Amongst the key events in The Duchess of Cornwall's programme in Oman will be a visit to the Oman Cancer Association, which runs an outreach program dedicated to meeting the needs of children with cancer. The Duchess will also attend a reception to highlight the achievements of Omani women entrepreneurs.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
On 6th November, Their Royal Highnesses will travel to Abu Dhabi where they will begin their visit by attending an event at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to promote religious tolerance. The event will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Tolerance, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi. The event will be attended by members of various faith communities resident in United Arab Emirates.
Their Royal Highnesses's trip to the U.A.E. will include a visit by The Prince of Wales to Bu Tinah archipelago. Bu Tinah, a UNESCO recognised site approximately 150 kilometres from the city of Abu Dhabi, is a protected sanctuary home to endangered species such as the dugong and hawksbill turtle.
Their Royal Highnesses will also visit Dubai and Sharjah. The Duchess of Cornwall's programme will include a visit to the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, which is the first licensed non-profit shelter in the U.A.E. for victims of domestic violence, child abuse and human trafficking. Since 2009, The Duchess of Cornwall has worked to raise awareness of the issues facing those affected by sexual violence and domestic abuse. Her Royal Highness has visited many centres and refuges around the world to highlight exemplar work in this area.
2017 is the U.K.-U.A.E. Year of Culture. The British Council, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the British Embassy and Emirati partners will be among those working together to create a diverse programme of activities which will take place in the U.K. and the U.A.E. featuring events in the arts, education, society, sport, science and trade. The aim of the Year of Culture is to strengthen the existing relationship between the U.K. and U.A.E. The Prince of Wales, who is the British Patron of the U.K.-U.A.E. 2017 Year of Culture, and The Duchess of Cornwall, will attend an event at the historic Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain to launch the Year of Culture.
On 8th November, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will start the last stage of their tour in Bahrain. Their Royal Highnesses's visit to Bahrain will mark the 200th anniversary of the first agreement between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Kingdom, which established formal relations between both countries and has led to enduring diplomatic, political, military and economic ties.
The programme will include a celebration at the British Ambassador's Residence to mark this major anniversary, a visit to the Post Office Museum to launch a new stamp commemorating the 200th anniversary of U.K.-Bahrain relations, and a visit to the Bahrain National Museum to view the Spitfire exhibition and participate in a Young Leaders' reception. During World War II, the Royal Air Force undertook the defence of Bahrain and donations collected from the people of Bahrain through public subscription contributed to the Gulf Fighter Funds, which paid for six spitfire aircraft operated by the R.A.F. The display at the Bahrain National Museum illustrates the shared aviation heritage of Bahrain and the U.K. and includes an iconic World War II Spitfire, painted in Bahrain livery, provided by the R.A.F Museum.
The Prince of Wales, Admiral of the Fleet, will visit the Royal Navy's base in Bahrain, H.M.S. Jufair. As the first major British base east of the Gulf of Suez since 1971, H.M.S. Jufair makes a major contribution to security in the region. The Prince will officially open the Welfare Block that will service personnel stationed at the base.
The Duchess of Cornwall will visit Bahrain's Supreme Council for Women. The Supreme Council for Women was established in 2001 and exists to empower Bahraini women in society at large. The Duchess will also meet with successful women entrepreneurs who have been supported by the Council.
Read opening remarks by Jamie Bowden at the press briefing relating to the visit by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall to Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain here.