Prince William gets a taste of traditional desert lifestyle on Middle East tour

Middle East
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tim Rooke/REX (10489501ap) Prince William during a visit to the Jahra Nature Reserve Prince William visit to Kuwait - 02 Dec 2019 Prince William visits Kuwait City?s wetlands at the Jahra Nature Reserve to learn more about Kuwait?s ambitious plans to protect its natural environment from human and environmental challenges. His Royal Highness will meet scientists from Kuwait?s Environmental Public Authority and the UK?s Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) agency to learn more about their partnership to promote Kuwait?s biodiversity and inform its approach to marine environment conservation. The Duke will also visit the reserve?s salt marshes, reed beds and sandy sabkha flats, and will join scientists in a number of activities studying the wetlands? wildlife.
William is paying his first official visit to Kuwait (Picture: Rex Features)

The Duke of Cambridge is set to sample the traditional desert lifestyle of Kuwaitis during his first official visit to the Middle East state.

William kicked off a four-day tour of the region on Sunday and will also travel to neighbouring Oman.

It has added significance, falling during the 120th anniversary 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.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tim Rooke/REX (10489501aw) Prince William during a visit to the Jahra Nature Reserve Prince William visit to Kuwait - 02 Dec 2019 Prince William visits Kuwait City?s wetlands at the Jahra Nature Reserve to learn more about Kuwait?s ambitious plans to protect its natural environment from human and environmental challenges. His Royal Highness will meet scientists from Kuwait?s Environmental Public Authority and the UK?s Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) agency to learn more about their partnership to promote Kuwait?s biodiversity and inform its approach to marine environment conservation. The Duke will also visit the reserve?s salt marshes, reed beds and sandy sabkha flats, and will join scientists in a number of activities studying the wetlands? wildlife.
William will meet scientists from Kuwait’s Environmental Public Authority and the UK’s Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) agency (Picture: Rex Features)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tim Rooke/REX (10489501ax) Prince William during a visit to the Jahra Nature Reserve Prince William visit to Kuwait - 02 Dec 2019 Prince William visits Kuwait City?s wetlands at the Jahra Nature Reserve to learn more about Kuwait?s ambitious plans to protect its natural environment from human and environmental challenges. His Royal Highness will meet scientists from Kuwait?s Environmental Public Authority and the UK?s Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) agency to learn more about their partnership to promote Kuwait?s biodiversity and inform its approach to marine environment conservation. The Duke will also visit the reserve?s salt marshes, reed beds and sandy sabkha flats, and will join scientists in a number of activities studying the wetlands? wildlife.
He will learn more about their partnership to promote Kuwait’s biodiversity and inform its approach to marine environment conservation (Picture: Rex Features)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tim Rooke/REX (10489501n) Prince William during a visit to the Jahra Nature Reserve Prince William visit to Kuwait - 02 Dec 2019
Prince William visited the Jahra Nature Reserve (Picture: Rex Features)

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.

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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.

Kensington Palace said of the trip: ‘Throughout the tour, the duke’s programme will pay tribute to the historic ties Britain shares with Kuwait and Oman, and will highlight strong links and cooperation in many areas, including education, the environment, and defence.

‘From the modern capitals of Kuwait City and Muscat, to the vast Kuwaiti deserts and stunning wadis in the Omani mountains, the visit will take in both countries’ unique cultures, their beautiful landscapes, and diverse communities.’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Tim Rooke/REX (10489501b) Prince William during a visit to the Jahra Nature Reserve Prince William visit to Kuwait - 02 Dec 2019
William even managed to indulge in a spot of birdwatching (Picture: Rex Features)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX (10489235c) Prince William Prince William visit to Kuwait - 01 Dec 2019 The Duke of Cambridge will visit Kuwait and Oman between Sunday 1st December and Wednesday 4th December. This visit is at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and will be His Royal Highness?s first official visit to both countries. Throughout the tour, The Duke?s programme will pay tribute to the historic ties Britain shares with Kuwait and Oman, and will highlight strong links and cooperation in many areas, including education, the environment, and defence. From the modern capitals of Kuwait City and Muscat, to the vast Kuwaiti deserts and stunning wadis in the Omani mountains, the visit will take in both countries? unique cultures, their beautiful landscapes, and diverse communities.
The Duke of Cambridge is on a four-day visit to Kuwait and Oman (Picture: Rex Features)
A photo provided by the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA on December 1, 2019 shows Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge (C), being received by Kuwait's Minister of the Amiri Diwan (Royal Palace) Affairs, Sheikh Ali al-Jarrah al-Sabah (R), at Kuwait International Airport. (Photo by - / KUNA / AFP) / === RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / KUNA" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS === (Photo by -/KUNA/AFP via Getty Images)
William’s visit will renew and strengthen ties between Britain and Kuwait (Picture: AFP/Getty)

William learned about the scourge of plastic pollution in Kuwait when he joined litter pickers working on a beach.

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He chatted with representatives from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), environmental volunteers and members of other groups who are following the global movement and tackling the issue.

Dr Abdullah Alzaidan, director general of technical affairs for the Environment Public Authority, which manages the reserve, said the site was important nationally and globally as a haven and refuelling stopover for hundreds of species of migratory birds and others that make it their permanent home.

William toured the Jahra Nature Reserve, near Kuwait City, by golf buggy, and was taken to a bird hide where he tried to glimpse lesser flamingoes and greater spotted eagles.

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