Oman celebrates Queen's 90th birthday in style with namesake liner

THE British Embassy in Oman celebrated the 90th birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in a highly original and memorable manner. The event was held at Port Sultan Qaboos with the visiting world famous Cunard luxury liner MS Queen Elizabeth as a spectacular backdrop.

Taking as its inspiration the celebration of HM The Queen’s birthday in London today (21 April) as a British “street party” along The Mall, which leads to Buckingham Palace, the British Embassy in Muscat followed this theme in its event, holding an informal tea party for 200 Omani and British guests in a marquee on the docks of Port Sultan Qaboos.

HH Sayyid Tariq bin Shbib al Said and HE Jonathan WilksIn the UK, informal street parties have historically been held to commemorate happy national occasions, including the Queen's Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees, as well as the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011.

Speaking on the occasion at Port Sultan Qaboos, Britain’s Ambassador to Oman, HE Jonathan Wilks, said: “Today we are celebrating Her Majesty’s long reign and the great, historic relations between our two countries. But we are also turning to the future, confident that our two countries will remain committed to each other in a relationship of growing importance.

MS Queen Elizabeth “We wish long life to Their Majesties, Sultan Qaboos and Queen Elizabeth. What better setting to do it, than Port Sultan Qaboos alongside the Cunard liner Queen Elizabeth at an exciting time for the future of tourism in Oman, with Omran’s planned development of the Port as the Sultanate’s showcase tourism and leisure venue.”

In his speech, Mr Wilks also thanked Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC, Jaguar Land Rover distributors, for its generous support for the event, the support of Omran through catering by the Intercontinental Hotel, and Khimji Ramdas Shipping for providing the event’s marquee.

This is one of a number of shared celebrations between the UK and the Sultanate of Oman to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday. The Royal Cavalry of the Sultanate of Oman will participate in celebrations in the UK at The Royal Windsor Horse Show in May. On 19 March, the Royal Cavalry of the Sultanate of Oman also held a special horse race in honour of HM The Queen at Al Rahba racecourse, near Muscat.

Maggie Jeans, of the British Business Forum which works closely with the British Embassy, said: “Certainly everyone present will never forget celebrating this special occasion against the backdrop of the Cunard liner MS Queen Elizabeth at her berth in Muscat on her way to the UK – which was quite a coup!

“The atmosphere of a festive British Street Party was recreated which and was much enjoyed by the many young Omanis among the guests. Buffet food based on traditional English recipes including mini-roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, fish and chips and mini-scones with jam and sticky toffee pudding was provided by the Intercontinental Hotel.”

Mrs Jeans added that the celebration also focused on the Anglo-Omani Society’s Young Generation Group which is vital part of continuing to maintain and strengthen future relations between the UK and Oman.