UAE opens new naval base
Dubai, October 22, 2010
The UAE has opened a naval base on its east coast that would allow it to bypass the Strait of Hormuz if Iran were ever to close the strategic waterway, according to local media reports.
The new base is located in the emirate of Fujairah, and gives direct access to the Arabian Sea, the official WAM news agency said.
The move comes amid Iran's repeated threat to block navigation through the Strait of Hormuz, through which about 60 per cent of the world's oil supply passes, if it is ever attacked by the US.
'The Fujairah base will also provide 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,' the report added.
Almost all oil exports from Opec's fourth-largest producer now go through Gulf waters and pass the narrow strait, which separates the emirates from Iran, before reaching the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, the WAM said.
Abu Dhabi, which holds more than 90 per cent of UAE crude reserves, is building at the site a huge oil-export facility and an oil pipeline 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.
UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi inaugurated the new base in the presence of Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi and other senior officers in the armed forces.