ABU DHABI (AFP) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Monday that US leadership is "central" to restoring stability to the battered world economy, stressing the challenge facing Barack Obama or John McCain. Speaking one day before the US presidential vote, Brown said "even more international cooperation" will be needed to counter financial turbulence in coming months. Brown is on day three of a four-day tour of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, during which he hopes to persuade the oil-rich states to give some of their wealth to boost the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF has an emergency bailout fund worth 250 billion dollars for sinking economies but Brown says this needs to be extended by hundreds of billions of dollars and wants Gulf states and China to help. "The next stage of globalisation will require even more international cooperation, with American leadership central to its success," Brown told business leaders at an oil conference in Abu Dhabi. "In the coming weeks and months, the whole world will want to work closely with America on a shared common agenda". This would include boosting the world economy, working "to defeat protectionism in favour of free trade" and moving towards Middle East peace. Brown, whose ratings have been boosted by his handling of the crisis, said US leadership has been "vital" so far, adding: "I know that leadership will and must continue". He is due to meet the president and crown prince of Abu Dhabi later on Monday and the prime minister and ruler of Dubai on Tuesday. The British premier spelled out in the clearest terms yet that Gulf states could have a greater role in the IMF if they contribute to the enlarged fund. "I very much accept the argument that countries which do contribute in this way should have a greater say in the overall governance of the IMF and this is part of our ambitions for reform," he said. He spoke of the need to move beyond the "zero sum game" which currently pitches oil producers against consumers. Brown's official spokesman, when asked if the trip had been a success so far, told reporters: "I think we're seeing real engagement from the countries we're speaking to. These are important countries in terms of how the global community responds to the financial crisis." Asked whether there might be a vacuum in the US following the election of a new president, he said: "The prime minister has every confidence that the transition will be managed in a way in the US that ensures that is not the case." "It's important that ... we have American leadership in the weeks and months ahead that must continue and he is confident that that will continue." During the trip, Brown has called for more stability in the oil market, despite opposition to calls for lower prices from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of which the Saudis, Qataris and UAE are members. Brown's tour comes ahead of a meeting of G20 international leaders, which both he and Saudi King Abdullah will attend, in Washington on November 15, when issues including IMF reform will be addressed. Earlier, Brown saw first hand the extent of Qatar's vast natural resources when he visited a giant gas plant in Ras Laffan being built by Qatar Petroleum and Anglo-Dutch oil giant Royal Dutch Shell to convert natural gas into 140,000 barrels per day of liquid fuel. Shell is investing up to 18 billion dollars in the plant. Qatar, the world's largest energy exporter, has the highest per capita income in the world, thanks largely to its major oil and gas reserves, while the UAE controls around nine percent of the world's oil reserves. He also visited the Qatar Gas plant which produces liquid gas for Britain and other countries and has the capacity to supply up to 20 percent of British gas needs. Brown stopped off to chat to airmen from Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF) who are stationed at Al Udeid in the Qatari desert near Doha. The RAF uses the base to fly missions into Iraq.