State Visit by Queen Elizabeth 1979
Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum (the Ruler of Dubai) had first met the Queen in London in 1961. They became firm friends and Sheikh Rashid made many private visits to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen. The Queen, in turn, promised to visit Dubai at a future date. Queen Elizabeth's 1979 State Visit to Dubai was the fulfillment of her long held promise. Her Dubai visit was part of a wider tour of the Gulf Region
HH Queen Elizabeth's Gulf Itinerary
The Queen had flown by Concorde Supersonic Airliner to Kuwait. Her 3 week itinerary included a 3 day visit to Dubai. Queen Elizabeth II flew from Abu Dhabi to the "new" Dubai International Airport and was met by Sheikh Rashid. Over the next two days Sheikh Rashid kept the Queen busy officially opening many of his projects, some of which had been opened before! These projects had strong connections with Britain usually because British Engineers and Construction Companies had been responsible for their design and construction.
Her Dubai Itinerary Sunday 25th February 1979
- 5:00 pm Arrive Dubai International Airport
- 5:25 pm Arrive at Dubai Municipal Building where the Queen will be presented with the Key to Dubai
- 5:40 pm Arrive at Holy Trinity Church
- 6:25 pm Leave Church for HMY Britannia
- 8:35 pm Jumeirah Guest Palace for Dinner with Sheikh Rashid
Monday 26th February 1979
- 7:30 am Leave Port Rashid in HMY Britannia for Jebel Ali.
- 10:00 am Unveil Plaque to open Jebel Ali Port.
- 10:10 am Car Tour of Jebel Ali Port and Industrial Area.
- 10:30 am Visit Dubal Aluminium Smelter Plant.
- 11:25 am Arrive Trade Centre.
- 12:10 pm Lunch at Hilton Hotel. Reception by the Chamber of Commerce.
(Hotel became World Trade Centre Hotel. Demolished in 2006)
- 4:05 pm Open Dubai Drydocks.
- 4:35 pm Trip up Dubai Creek on a Dhow.
- 5:00 pm Land at Jetty near British Embassy and walk to Embassy gardens talking to Students and Well Wishers on the way.
- Dinner on board HMY Britannia with Sheikh Rashid
- 10:30 pm Beating the Retreat
- 10:45 pm HMY Britannia sails for Oman