About Dalma


The island belongs to Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. It’s about 42 km Northwest of Al-Dhannah Mount in the sea, and about 210 km from Abu Dhabi. The area is about 33 km.

From the beginning to the middle of this century, there has been reference about Dalma in the book of the British Resident in Sharjah in 1906. Here’s the text:

“Dalma Island is heavily populated in the seasons of pearling…”
In 1936, the new Resident wrote:” On Dalma Island lives some people of Al-Qubaisat, Al-Mazarie, Al-Muharebah and Al-Moraikhat.”

About Dalma Island, some History References say (and according to Al-ittihad newspaper of Abu Dhabi) that researches proved that in the 7th century AD, there were 5 main islands surrounding what is known today as Bahrain, one of which was called “Talmon”. Around the trees of this island, the tribe of Al-Moraikhat settled and built the first (Fraig) or neighborhood that was named after Al-Moraikhat. There houses, made of palm fronds, spread around the island and their ships used to roam around the Arab Gulf in deep-diving trips searching for pearls in the seabed. (Ref.weekly Al-Ittihad newspaper, July 16th 1992-Al-Watan Encyclopedia, page 24)

In the past, the island of Dalma was considered the central position of the Maritime pearling. The records mention that there were regular markets for Pearl vendors, who came from the ends of the globe such as India. One of the groups of buildings of the 19th century that was recently renovated includes the house of a famous pearl merchant from the family of Al-Moraikhy. Ceramics (shards of pottery dating back to the early Islamic era) were found during the restoration of the foundations of a nearby mosque. (Reference: “Civilization Underlying” An entrance to the Monuments of the United Arab Emirates.

The link between a historical building and the variables and events that have passed on the island of Dalma in particular and the UAE in general makes us deal with this place not only in terms of being an impact, or legacy, but also as a record dating to the stage of an important signaling, with its semantics to the economic, historical and political roles of Dalma Island. The most important factor which leads us to reflect the interest in this position in the complex equation that has been achieved and exhibited in the Umayyad architectural style, which emphasizes the importance of the island and its relations with its neighbors, but not with the old countries affected and influenced by. This geographical distance from the Levant overtures and certainly commercial and political relations, not only back to the reign of the Umayyad to the past, but is thousands of years and the excavations and archaeological assets of the shops and industries, indicating and supporting these facts with evidence.

The Green Oasis decorated by an Immortal Civilization

The island of Dalma, about which name a lot of opinions were told, gives evidence of its position in those days. An example is that its location on old maps and those in atlases in the state we see written as (Pearl Island), and it is known about Dalma being worldwide famous for producing pearls . And the other opinion and extracted from the people of the island and the elderly, who heard from their fathers and grandfathers, that, in the past, ships used to pass by and stand in front of Dalma to get fresh water, for which the island was famous and which people got from wells and springs in its territory. If one was asked: “Why did you stop in front of the island?” his answer would be: “I needed a bucket of water.” This phrase kept being repeated whenever a ship and passengers stopped by the island, and day after day, the word evolved from “a bucket of water”(in Arabic) to be said as “Dalma”

The description given by Mr. / Fathi Mohamed in “Dalma Island” states that the island of Dalma was mentioned in many sources showing the high-standing and the particular importance it represented in the past, in the UAE and the Gulf in general. The description included the most important views that have been said in the description of Dalma Island. One of these opinions was mentioned in a book entitled “The guide” by Captain Rashid Bin Fadel Al-banghali, describing it as a large island with footnotes in the south and east and water and landing area for Arabs that used to be crowded and busy at times of diving and a pearl market was set up over about a mile from Dalma towards the course of Sir Bani Yass.

There is another description in the same reference “Dalma Island”: “It is a large island, having footnotes in the south and the east, where there was fresh water and homes of Arab residents. It was crowded longer in the season of diving for pearls and the Pearl Market was held”. Another description of the island was stated in the second edition of the book by Professor Mohammad Ali who describes Dalma saying: “The northern part consists of flat- topped hills the highest of which rises by ten meters, while the southern part is low and sandy and ends, as usual for all the islands, with a sandy tongue in the southern tip. Dalma is an island where there are permanent houses and is located on the southwest coast. Another description is in the book and “Mesopotamia” by Professor Ahmed Abdul Baqi that describes the island of being as famous for growing palm trees, vegetables and fruits and as a center of pearls fishing and trading, as well as catching fishes and exporting them to all the Emirates. There’s also a description of the island by the poet Sultan bin Ali Al-rafssa from Abu Dhabi describing the island of Dalma as having a rich history along ages and that it owes most of its recent fame to Sheikh Zayed who changed it into a glorious paradise with gardens of fruits and lovely flowers for those who look for beauty and peace. The following are the Arabic actual words of the poet:

دلـمـا لــــــهـا شــــــانٍ وعِتــــبَــــار            عـــنـــد الـذي بــــــه حس وشعـــور
اسم لــــها شايــــع في الأقـطار                  يشـــهـــــد لــــها تــاريـــخ وعصــور
والــيــوم دلـمـا تشــع بأنـــــــوار               وطول الدهر ما تشــــــــــكي قصـــور
من فضل ياللـــــي عمّــــــر الدار                 نــــــور الوطن لــــــي قايـــــم بدور
زايــــد ومــــن مــثــله فــلا صار                 في الــــمجد لـــه حكمــه ودســــتور
تـــــــحــــوّلت جـــنــــات وأنــهــــار              وتـــزخــــرفت فـيـــــلاّت وقصور
وكل من لفاها يجني اثمار                            ويشم ريـــــــح الـــــفـــل وزهـــــور

Finally, there is a description of Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Ezzwi in the book “Guide of the Buildings in Dalma”, saying: "Dalma Island, located in the Arabian Gulf belonging to the Government of Abu Dhabi , UAE had a historical and cultural role. Excavations in the island go some archaeological finds, as well as buildings, majestic mosques and houses are located on Dalma Island in the Persian Gulf to the north-west of the city of Abu Dhabi. It is flat and nearly oval in shape and in the eastern and northern sides appear rocky hills and its fertile land is rich in vegetables and fruit farms.

Reference: Al-Ittihad Newspaper 08/28/1998 p. 9 - an article entitled: Guidance Zayed projects civilized in Dalma-borne century atheist twenty - "Pearl Island" divulge secrets and reveal the role of civilization, it seems that the island of Dalma Marine, which was inhabited for the first time since the fourth millennium or V BC had settled throughout the late Islamic era which is also the island where there are most prolific freshwater whale as two hundred well before the oil age. Water and transported by sea from Dalma to Abu Dhabi in 1950 based on one of the sources. And Dalma is the central position of marine pearl fishing and remember the records that he was on the regular market vendors Pearl who came from the ends of the globe such as India in this season include one group of buildings of the nineteenth century that was recently restored on the island, the home of pearl merchant for the family of "Al-Moraikhi" in while containing ceramics found during the restoration process based on a nearby mosque shards of pottery dating back to the beginning of the late Early Islamic era.

Historical and archaeological places in Dalma

The Old Stone Age represents (6000 BC. AD - 3500 BC. M) is the first evidence of a settlement of population in the UAE and consisted of those endemic population groups Bedouin lived on fishing and gathering plants, and there are groups settled on the coasts and islands, note that the maritime trade had begun and there are signs the establishment of links with in the islands note that the maritime trade has started and there is evidence that links with the civilization of slaves in Mesopotamia in Iraq, and included excavations of stone minute tools made ​​of a kind of split-sided and commonly used among the Arabs and the most important sites of this civilization Mount following Lakes Umm Al Quwain and Dalma. Reference: Journal of the Heritage Issue No. 35 - October 2001 - (archaeological discoveries in Dalma are due to 6 thousand years)

Recently, an important new archaeological site has been detected on the island of Dalma dating back to the era of the Slavery, which is due to 6 thousand years BC. M. It included the site revealed by the British mission working in excavations on the island traces of the settlement and the remains of vessels of plaster and pottery imported from the civilization of Mesopotamia ancient Iraq, and confirms the existence of trade relations between the inhabitants of the island the old and the civilization of Mesopotamia in Iraq.