On 6 October 2023, The British Omani Society hosted its much anticipated and fully booked Annual Lunch at the Royal Air Force Club, Piccadilly, London.
As in previous years, the lunch brought together government representatives from both countries including our Trustees and members. It was a chance to reconnect with old friends, to network and make new connections as well as to strengthen and renew existing ties. This year we were particularly pleased to see the range of ages in attendance, a good indication that the UK-Oman relationship remains strong not only in the past and present but will continue to do so into the future.
We were honoured to have HE Sheikh Khalifa Al Harthy, the Undersecretary for Political Affairs of Oman’s Foreign Ministry, attend the event as our guest of honour from Oman. In his speech, he emphasised the enduring bond between Oman and the United Kingdom, along with Oman’s commitment to enhancing economic ties with the UK. He also emphasised that Oman would continue to play the same important diplomatic role in the region under Sultan Haitham as it had in the past under Sultan Qaboos, referencing Oman’s involvement in US-Iran relations, regional diplomacy and hostage releases.
Lord Grimstone was our guest of honour from the UK. In his speech he underscored the significance of the mutually beneficial special relationship between the UK and Oman. He also highlighted current investment opportunities between the two countries, including in renewables.
Both speakers commended the Society for its efforts in continuing to nurture UK-Oman collaboration and friendship. With HE Sheikh Khalifa Al Harthy also fondly reflecting on his early career years in the UK and his then membership of The Society, at that time chaired by Sir Terence Clark.
Among our other special guests, we had the privilege of welcoming HE Badr Mohammed Badr Al Mantheri, Oman’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Lord Astor and Saleh Zakwani, Chairman of the Omani British Friendship Association (OBFA).
The British Omani Society Annual Lunch is open to all Society members. Individual Society membership is just £10 per year for a limited time. Join or renew your membership online here.