The UK is investing a further £23.8 million (€25.7 million) in a naval logistics hub at the Port of Duqm in Oman, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace announced in Oman on 12 September.
The investment will triple the size of the existing UK base and help facilitate Royal Navy deployments to the Indian Ocean and will further support British Army training in-country. It also has a dry dock facility which could support Britain’s QUEEN ELIZABETH-class aircraft carrier.
Moving on to Qatar, the Defence Secretary offered British advice and guidance for achieving a safe, successful football World Cup in 2022. “The long-standing friendships between the UK and the Gulf states are more important than ever. With shared defence and security interests, it is vital we work together for both regional and global stability. Our trade links are just as strong, too – from cotton to aerospace […] Whether tackling Daesh, or making our streets in the UK safer thanks to our intelligence networks, these are hugely valuable relationships that I am pleased to be able to renew this week,” he stated.
The UK and many of the Gulf states work closely together on counter-terrorism, sharing information and resources to tackle violent extremism. Both Oman and Qatar are members of the Global Coalition against Daesh with the UK, in which they work together to combat the violent ideology and network of terrorist fighters. The Minister was able to see this first-hand when he visited the Combined Air Operations Centre in Qatar, where strikes are coordinated from under Operation SHADER – Britain’s military contribution to the coalition.