Desert stay to be the highlight of William’s visit to Kuwait

The Duke of Cambridge will experience the traditional desert lifestyle of Kuwaitis during his first official visit to the Middle East state.

William arrived in the country on Sunday for the start of a four-day tour of the region which will also see him travel to Oman.

The tour has added significance as it falls during the 120th anniversary year of the signing of the 1899 Treaty of Friendship between Kuwait and the UK.

The oil-rich state of Kuwait is in a strategically important position nestling between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and with Iran nearby across the Persian Gulf.

William’s visit will renew and strengthen ties between Britain and Kuwait, and the monarchy’s personal bonds with the Gulf state’s ruling Al Sabah family.

The Duke of Cambridge (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The soft diplomacy of the royal family is an important attribute which can help build bridges on foreign trips, especially in the Middle East.

The duke’s tour begins in earnest on Monday and the highlight will be a desert encampment staged for William outside the capital Kuwait City.

A cultural experience will be laid on for the royal visitor from dates and coffee to camels as he meets young leaders, entrepreneurs and university students.

When the duke arrived by a commercial flight from the UK he was greeted by Britain’s Ambassador to the UK Michael Davenport.

At the nearby private terminal for the ruling family, Sheikh Ali Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah, minister of the Amiri Diwan, the Amir’s court, warmly welcomed the duke and walked him into the building past a guard of honour.

With him was his deputy Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah Al-Sabah who will host the desert experience for William.

The group sat down for a brief welcome chat and were served Middle East tea and soft drinks.

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