Fujairah naval base opens

Strategic location of the new base gives the UAE direct access to the Arabian Sea, allowing it to bypass the Strait of Hormuz.

HH Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Ruler of Fujairah (centre), at the opening of the new naval base.
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The UAE has opened its new naval base in Fujairah, allowing it to bypass the Strait of Hormuz and enjoy direct access to the Arabian Sea.

"The naval base will also enable a quick response to natural and man-made disasters that may occur at sea, in addition to ... ensuring safe and quick passage for its oil exports," according to a statement on Government news agency WAM.

Almost all oil exports from OPEC's fourth-largest producer now go through Gulf waters and pass the narrow Strait of Hormuz, which separates the Emirates from Iran, before reaching the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

Abu Dhabi, which holds more than 90 per cent of UAE crude reserves, is building an oil-export facility and an oil pipeline near the site at a cost of several billion dollars.

It is also building an oil-storage terminal there, as well as power and water treatment plants and a facility to store imported grain.

WAM's statement said the Fujairah base had strategic importance and would play a major role in the defence of the land and waters of the country.