On 27 June, Royal Navy personnel deployed to UK Maritime Trade Organisation (UKMTO) joined in the celebrations for Armed Forces Day 2012 by hosting a charity cake sale and tea party at the British Embassy in Dubai and were joined by some very distinguished visitors.
The event took place at the Embassy’s on site community centre, and the team invited Embassy staff, relatives and visitors to join them for tea, coffee and a variety of cakes generously baked and donated by diplomatic staff and RN personnel.
The team raised a grand total of 1655 Emirati dirhams, nearly £300, which will be donated to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines (RNRM) charity.
Also joining in the celebrations were Henry Bellingham MP, Minister for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Mike Penning MP, Minister for Shipping at the Department for Transport. Both Parliamentarians were in the UAE for an international conference on Somali piracy and, whilst there, took the opportunity to visit UKMTO and see for themselves their contribution to multi-national efforts to counter piracy.
Speaking at the UAE conference later in the day, Henry Bellingham commented that it was a “pleasure to tour the UK Maritime Trade Operation (UKMTO) facility based here in Dubai.
“Reporting to UKMTO remains a key element of the Best Management Practices (BMP) developed by industry for industry.
“I take this opportunity to not only commend the work of UKMTO, but also the ongoing work of industry to encourage ships to engage regularly with UKMTO as part of their wider self-protection regime.”
Mr Guy Warrington, Her Majesty’s Consul General in Dubai, added:
“I’m very pleased to be able to take this opportunity to celebrate Armed Forces Day alongside serving military personnel and congratulate all those from the Embassy and UKMTO who helped raise money for charity.
“Armed Forces Day is not only about honouring serving personnel but veterans, too, and charities like the RNRM Charity do great work for veterans, relatives and all those who have or continue to serve their country in the Armed Forces.”
Commander Mark Stuttard RN, Royal Naval Liaison Officer (Gulf), said:
“Congratulations to all my team for their hard work in ensuring Armed Forces Day 2012 didn’t go unrecognised and for raising such a valuable contribution to charity. Outstanding.”
Naval Today Staff, July 11, 2012; Image: Royal Navy