Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 22 January 2020

A wadi, fishing nets and lab work: Prince William enjoys a varied final day in Oman

British royal visited Kuwait and Oman on tour of Gulf

The Duke of Cambridge is finishing his tour of the Gulf with a visit to a wadi in Oman.

William arrived in Oman's capital Muscat, where he met Omani Minister of Culture Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq al Said on Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, William joined fishermen, a treasured part of the seafaring nation, in mending their nets on the beach as they chatted about sustainability and steps being taken to preserve the country's marine environment.

After his time on the beach, he retreated to a majlis tent and enjoyed refreshments in front of a model of a dhow boat.

The prince also visited the Marine Science Centre laboratory, meeting Omani scientists collaborating with the UK's Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science where he was shown how Oman is working to secure its aquaculture and fisheries in a changing climate.

The afternoon was spent exploring one of Oman's natural wonders, Wadi Arbaeen.

The Anglo-Omani Society (AOS), an organisation which fosters cultural ties between the UK and Oman expressed delight at William's visit.

"He will be warmly welcomed there, by His Majesty the Sultan and by all Omanis, reflecting the strong relationship that exists between the two countries, at all levels of society," AOS Chairman Stuart Laing said.

"We hope that more British visitors will follow Prince William’s example and get to know this lovely country and its fine people."

Oman is making great efforts to attract more tourists to the country, including the recent opening of a revamped Muscat International Airport, with capacity for 12 million passengers per year and a series of partnerships with international companies to boost sustainable tourism.

The government's hard work appears to be paying off; the country welcomed 3.2 million visitors in 2017, double the number from 2009.

The UN estimates that improvements could make tourism up to 6 per cent of GDP in the next 20 years.

Prince William arrived in Muscat from the northern governorate of Musanadam on Tuesday, where he met British and Omani Royal Navy servicemen. Staff explained British support for the Omani Navy in the Hormuz Strait, an increasingly important strategic area for the UK’s military after the seizure of a British-flagged tanker by Iran in July.

The Stena Impero was detained for two months while travelling through the busy narrow shipping lane and eventually released on September 27.

Updated: December 5, 2019 03:45 AM

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