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Harry's Dubai visit off over unrest

Prince Harry's visit to Dubai to play in a charity fundraising polo match has been cancelled because of the unrest in the region, St James' Palace has confirmed.

Harry was due to take part in the Sentebale Cup - a competition in aid of his Africa based charity - later this month.

A St James' Palace spokesman said: "Prince Harry was very much looking forward to the visit, but feels that it would be insensitive for him to participate in a sporting event at a time when there are matters of greater priority to focus on in the region."

Arab states in north Africa have seen their leaders toppled by mass demonstrations and unrest in recent months and in Libya the country is close to civil war.

In the nearby Gulf states there have been less public demonstrations but tensions are said to be high right across the Middle East.

It is understood the decision was not taken for security reasons but because the prince was conscious his visit would have been staged against this background.

It is hoped the trip can be rescheduled.

Harry's visit on March 19 would have been his first to the United Arab Emirates and during the one-day tour he would have carried out a number of engagements.

The polo event would have been in aid of Sentebale, the charity the prince co-founded in 2006 to help children orphaned by the HIV/Aids epidemic and those affected by poverty in the south African country of Lesotho.

The organisation supports community projects by offering them financial aid, management help and other types of support.

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