The UK defense secretary has announced an additional £23.8 million investment in the UK logistics hub at Duqm port, where Britain has permanent facilities to support naval operations in the region.
The announcement was made as part of defense secretary Ben Wallace’s visit to Oman and Qatar to discuss shared security challenges and future collaboration.
The investment in the Omani port will triple the size of the existing UK base and help facilitate Royal Navy deployments to the Indian Ocean. It also has a dry dock facility which could support the UK’s two aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.
The port was used in 2018 for Exercise Saif Sareea 3 and the expansion will further support British Army training in Oman, the defense ministry said.
On the Qatar leg of the visit the Defence Secretary offered support to the Football World Cup in 2022, with the UK ready to provide advice and guidance needed to deliver a safe and successful event.
“The long standing friendships between the UK and the Gulf states are more important than ever,” Wallace said.
“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.”
The UK and many of the Gulf states work closely together on counter-terrorism, sharing information and resources to tackle violent extremism. Oman and Qatar are also members of the Global Coalition against Daesh alongside the UK.