The Arab states Queen Elizabeth II visited during her 70-year reign

The Arab states Queen Elizabeth II visited during her 70-year reign
The Queen's death has seen an outpouring of condolences across the Arab world, a region she had a close affinity to.
3 min read
09 September, 2022
Queen Elizabeth II made two state visits to Oman during her reign [Getty]

Queen Elizabeth II's death on Thursday led to condolences from leaders across the Arab world marking an end to her 70-year-reign.

The Queen had strong and deep links to the region, particularly the Gulf monarchies with two state visits to Oman and the UAE.

Her reign began before General Abdel Nasser became president of Egypt, shortly after King Farouk was overthrown by a military coup.

It ended just months before the Arab world was due to host its first World Cup in Qatar, the 19th tournament to take place when she was queen.

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Elizabeth's first visit to the Middle East as Queen was to Libya, then a monarchy. It would be over a decade until she would visit an Arab state again, witnessed by her trips to Khartoum and El-Obeid in Sudan in February 1965, aged 38.

Her first state tour of the Arab world was to the six Arab Gulf states in 1979 - Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Bahrain.

The tour was widely viewed as an attempt to bolster the resolve of the Gulf monarchies, following the shock overthrow of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in nearby Iran, sending shockwaves across the Arab world.

One year later and the monarch was in North Africa, meeting Morocco's King Hassan II and Algeria's President Chadli Bendjedid. 

In 1986, Queen Elizabeth visited Jordan's ancient site of Petra, as well Amman and Aqaba.

She praised King Hussein during a state dinner for making Jordan a "beacon of stability" in the region and said her visit "fulfills a lifelong ambition".

Jordan's king responded: "This day will be recorded in the history of Jordan. It crowns the friendly relations between our two peoples and will be treasured for a long time to come."

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He also appealed to the British people to resolve the "errors of the past", referring to Palestine. 

She would not travel to the region again until 2010, when she visited the UAE and Oman.

There she met UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at his palace in Abu Dhabi, which included a trip to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in the capital.

In Oman, the Queen was hosted by Sultan Qaboos bin Said in Muscat, where she was warmly welcomed by crowds of wellwishers, both Omani and British expatriates.

Sultan Qaboos died in 2020 after 40 years on the throne with the Queen saying that the ruler was "a good friend of my family and of the United Kingdom".  She also said her 2010 visit to Muscat "remains a cherished memory".

Queen Elizabeth II died on Thursday aged 96, the UK's longest-serving monarch.