President Nicolas Sarkozy is set to open France's first permanent military base in the Gulf on Monday, giving Paris a strategic role in a region roiled by Iran and a key supply route for oil. Sarkozy will be paying a visit to Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest and largest of the United Arab Emirates, to formally inaugurate the base announced in January last year. Dubbed "Peace Camp", the base will host up to 500 troops stationed in three sites on the banks of the Strait of Hormuz, just across from Iran: a navy and logistical base, an air base with three fighter planes and a training camp.