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Britain's Prince Charles, Camilla visit UAE mosque on tour

Associated Press Associated Press 6/11/2016 By MALAK HARB, Associated Press
Britain's Prince Charles visits the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili) © The Associated Press Britain's Prince Charles visits the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Britain's Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arrived Sunday in the United Arab Emirates as part of their three-nation tour of the Gulf, visiting a landmark mosque in the country's capital.

The royal couple toured the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, with Camilla wearing a blue scarf over her hair in a sign of respect.

They walked over the mosque's gleaming white marble floor as Emirati officials accompanied them.

They gazed upon the 99 names of God in Arabic adorning the mosque's inner wall, and later met with religious leaders of various faiths.

The oil-rich UAE, a country of seven sheikhdoms that is home to Dubai, was overseen by the British when it was known as the Trucial States. The UAE became a unified, independent nation in 1971.

The two had just arrived from neighboring Oman, where they began their weeklong trip.

On Saturday night, the state-run Oman News Agency reported that Sultan Qaboos bin Said, who has ruled the country on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula since 1970, met with the royals.

Journalists traveling with the royal couple did not attend the meeting with the 75-year-old heirless monarch, who at one point stayed at a German hospital for eight months from July 2014 to March 2015. The sultan is the Middle East's longest-serving monarch, and rights group recently wrote him over the targeting of journalists by the country's Internal Security Service.

Prince Charles and Camilla later will travel to Bahrain.

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Follow Malak Harb on Twitter at www.twitter.com/malakharb.

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