The Royal Navy says a British soldier has gone missing while his ship was docked in Dubai.

Timothy Andrew Maccoll, 27, is a seaman aboard the HMS Westminster, which arrived in Dubai on Saturday and left Thursday.

The Navy said Friday that local authorities have been contacted and are treating the incident as a missing person case.

His family said in a statement that they are "desperately worried" about the married father of two, who was last seen by a shipmate getting into a taxi alone at around 2 a.m. on Sunday.

His wife Rachel, who is expecting their third child, said it was "completely out of character" for her husband not to be in touch.