At the start of his official visit to Bahrain, The Duke of York was warmly received by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa during a private meeting at the Riffa Palace.
HRH carried out a series of engagements focused on opportunities for young people – through education, skills training and entrepreneurship.
At Al Bayan School in Isa Town, The Duke watched a presentation by students who recently triumphed in a regional competition to find the best school-run business. Their winning product, the multi-purpose MyTray, was enthusiastically demonstrated by pupils, who later had the opportunity to explain their expansion plans to HRH.
The schools competition was organised by INJAZ, a non-profit organisation which prepares young Bahrainis to compete in the global economy. Its founder, Her Royal Highness Shaikah Hessa bint Khalifa Al Khalifa, accompanied The Duke as he met other entrepreneurs, including a team of young Bahraini women who run their own jewellery-design businesses.
Creating links between education and entrepreneurship was also the theme of a lunch, run by the Bahrain British Business Forum, as part of GREAT British Week in Bahrain. Addressing business leaders, HRH highlighted the growing importance of vocational skills training, in parallel with traditional academic education. He also encouraged his audience to take on apprentices, commenting: “think about the next generation – about how you would train them, and offer them opportunity.”
Later, The Duke attended the GREAT Knowledge Event, showcasing innovation and scientific research at British universities to young Bahrainis considering further study abroad. Declaring himself “extremely proud of the UK’s ability to impart knowledge,” HRH argued that cutting-edge technologies learned in Britain could subsequently be applied in Bahrain, adding value to the country’s economy. The Duke then heard first-hand about some of the latest UK research, attending a seminar on An Alternative Nuclear Future by Professor Robert Cywinski of Huddersfield University.
During the afternoon, HRH also had the opportunity to meet British military personnel serving in the Gulf region alongside members of the US 5th Fleet, which is headquartered in Bahrain. The Duke was taken on a tour of United Kingdom Maritime Component Command Headquarters by RN Commodore Keith Blount, and briefed on maritime security and aviation operations in the Gulf region.