WINDSOR, UK - The UAE president began a two-day state visit to Britain on Tuesday, during which he will be treated to ceremonial splendour but will also face questions over claims of torture from three British men jailed in Dubai.

Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, head of state of the United Arab Emirates, is being hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle, west of London.

Tuesday’s programme focuses on meetings between royalty, with the queen hosting a state luncheon at which both heads of state were to make speeches. But on Wednesday the president will meet Prime Minister David Cameron for talks, when the premier was to raise the case of three British men who claim they were tortured by Dubai police after being arrested on drugs charges.

At the start of the visit, the president enjoyed a carriage procession through Windsor to the castle, which is thought to be the queen’s favourite residence and where she spends most of her weekends.

Guardsmen from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in their scarlet tunics and bearskins formed a guard of honour. Cameron’s spokesman said nothing was off-limits for the talks on Wednesday, when asked if he would discuss the claims that the three men were beaten and given electric shocks after being arrested.

“Clearly we have a state visit, we have an opportunity to build and strengthen relations between our two countries and as part of that we’ll be talking about a wide range of issues which will include concern about these cases,” he said.

“The prime minister’s clear there’s no no-go areas in this. We’ve asked for a full impartial and independent investigation into the incidents.”

Authorities in the UAE have dismissed the allegations, saying an internal investigation found them to be “baseless”.

On Wednesday the president will also visit Westminster Abbey for a short private tour along with Prince Andrew, the queen’s second son. He was to lay a wreath at its tomb of the unknown warrior. The president was then to visit Clarence House, the official residence of Prince Charles, the queen’s oldest son and the heir to the throne. He was to view displays by The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, followed by a private meeting with Charles to round off the visit.

Britain normally stages two state visits per year, aimed at strengthening the relationship with the visiting country. The last state visit by a UAE head of state was in 1989. Queen Elizabeth has made two state visits to the UAE, in 1979 and more recently in 2010.