By Alan Hamilton
As if the Middle East didn’t have enough conflicts already, a new one erupted yesterday between the Prince of Wales and the burger.
Visiting a medical centre in Abu Dhabi, the Gulf state that has the second highest incidence of diabetes in the world, the Prince suggested that banning McDonald’s could be the key to improving the emirates’ health.
The burger chain, which has six outlets in the largest of the United Arab Emirates, immediately sprung to its own defence, suggesting that the organic and environment-loving Prince was out of touch with current burger thinking, particularly in Britain. He was, the company implied, bordering on the ungrateful.
Accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall on his ten-day tour of friendly Gulf states, the Prince was learning about new initiatives to improve Abu Dhabi’s health as he visited the centre backed and largely staffed by Imperial College, London. The royal couple watched a class of children being taught about food choices when the Prince turned to Nadine Tayara, a nutritionist who had put the children through their well-rehearsed paces, and asked: “Have you got anywhere with McDonald’s? Have you tried getting it banned? That’s the key.”