Do people realise that this is about firming up what is already in place, not establishing something new? The RN has been there for many years.
The base was known as HMS JUFAIR, home to the ships of the 9th Minesweeper Squadron (9th MSS), renamed the 9th MCM Squadron (9th MCMS) in 1969 when its minesweepers were joined by minehunters, from 7 Nov 1955 to 15 Dec 1971.
In the Sixties, HMS Jufair was also home to the Amphibious Warfare Squadron consisting of a Headquarters ship (HMS Meon, the forerunner to the Assault ships, Intrepid and Fearless) and a collection of LSTs and LCTs. There was a tank squadron (5 Innis DG at one time) whose tanks stayed aboard the LSTs apart from Amphibious Landing exercises on other islands in the Gulf together with the PARA on rotation to Bahrain. The RE also had their Beach Troop stationed there.
Are you sure it was Meon?
Ex-HMS YARNTON Sparker ("Bleep") here. YARNTON belonged to 9 Mine Counter Measure Squadron based at HMS JUFAIR, Bahrein. Following an early-70s (?) refit at Singapore, she was based at Hong Kong. My next draft was HMS INTREPID, which Commander British Forces Gulf embarked, and "assisted" the British pull-out from the Gulf.
USS DAHLGREN (known to us as the "Great White Whale") was the U.S.N. vessel during my time. We exchanged visitors regularly, they for our tots of rum and we for their steaks, ice-cream and Zippo lighters.
If we judge every country by the standards of the Guardian sneering mastabatori elite, we'd never talk to anyone.
If you want to be listened to in the Middle East, get inside the tent, be trusted, be friendly and be the person that can whisper discretely 'have you thought about doing something slightly differently' - shouting loudly, making people look bad in a culture where pride and station dominates anything else is a surefire way to be ignored.
Bahrain has been a friend of the UK for 200 years, they are VERY good to us, and we get a great deal in strategic access and value. There are ways and means to have challenging conversations, but suddenly refusing to talk to your friends and pompously preaching human rights isn't the way to do it if you want to effect real change.