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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

HMS Middleton prepares to leave dock at Ras al Khaimah

Crew of Royal Navy ship receive UAE officials on board

Sheikh Ahmad bin Saqr al Qasimi, chairman of Ras al-Khaimah economic zone. is welcomed on board HMS Middleton
Sheikh Ahmad bin Saqr al Qasimi, chairman of Ras al-Khaimah economic zone. is welcomed on board HMS Middleton

Royal Navy ship HMS Middleton is preparing to leave dock at Ras al Khaimah and is the second British military vessel to stop off in the UAE in as many months.

The 750-tonne anti-mine vessel has been patrolling the Gulf as part of the three-year deployment in the region.

HMS Middleton arrived on Wednesday for the two-day stop-off, and warmly welcomed Sheikh Ahmad bin Saqr al Qasimi, chairman of Ras al-Khaimah economic zone for a brief tour.

Lieutenant Commander Anthony Pimm briefed Sheikh Ahmed on the ship's role in security and mine-hunting.

"HMS Middleton is one of six military ships that are based in the region permanently,” said Lt Cdr Pimm.

“It’s an honour and pleasure to visit the UAE and RAK specifically.

“Our ship has exceptional capabilities in mine-hunting. We have highly-trained and highly-skilled personnel to do this."

"It was an honour to welcome Sheikh Ahmed on board HMS Middleton yesterday,” said British Consul-General in Dubai, Paul Fox.

“As the first visit of a British military ship to a RAK port in five years, this is also another example of the strong relations that exist between the UK and UAE."

In May, RFA Fort Victoria docked at Port Rashid for a short stay.

The auxiliary oiler replenishment ship called in to Dubai to replenish stocks as it acts as a logistical support vessel to other ships in the region.

Last year, British naval ships made more than 65 visits to the UAE.

The presence of British naval vessels follows a recent surge in piracy, particularly off the coast of Somalia.