Historian of UAE Peter Hellyer Passes Away
Source: WAM

Historian of UAE Peter Hellyer Passes Away

UAE Minister of State mourns loss of “true friend of our nation”

Historian of the United Arab Emirates Peter Hellyer has passed away in Abu Dhabi, according to regional media, leading to a host of tributes from around the UAE.

Mr Hellyer first came to visit the UAE in the 1970s, being drawn to the vision and mission of Founding Father Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

After becoming a cultural historian in the country, Hellyer built a career in the UAE, setting up English-langauge news so the world could catch a glimpse of the developing UAE.

He also worked as a Managing Editor for Emirates News and as an advisor to the National Media Council.

Perhaps most famously, Mr Hellyer discovered several historical archeological sites in the UAE, which led to him receiving a prestigious Abu Dhabi Medal.

After the news of his passing, tributes have come in from around the UAE.

UAE Minister of Culture and Youth, Salem Al Qassimi, said: “His devotion to this land will inspire us to preserve our environment, monuments, and history. His legacy endures.”

Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of State, said Peter Hellyer was a “...true friend of our nation”.

Adding that: “Peter’s dedication has left an indelible mark on our history.”

UAE Ambassador to the UK, Mansoor Abulhoul, said: “His immeasurable contribution to our national narrative and pivotal role in our media landscape are a testament to his love for the UAE."

Edward Hobart, UK ambassador to the UAE, said: “I met him 12 years ago when I very first arrived in the UAE, he was always interesting and thoughtful and a great bridge between the UAE and UK. My thoughts are with his family.”

Mr Hellyer was a proponent of strong ties between the UAE and UK royal families, speaking after the death of Queen Elizabeth the II in 2022, Hellyer said: “One reason why I'm so confident about the future of UAE-UK relations is because of this relationship between the [royal] families.

"The Queen helped to create it, working with Sheikh Zayed to develop the relationship between the UAE ruling families, in particular Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and the British ruling family.

"That is something that has surpassed any political issues and is different from a relationship between governments.”

Read more: UAE 2023: What's Happened So Far, What's in Store?

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