New updated publication of Sir Bani Yas Church and Monastery booklet (10 November 2023)

To coincide with the opening of the new Sir Bani Yas Visitor Centre on the 10th November 2023, the Department of Culture published an updated version of the booklet about the Church and Monastery. This booklet was edited by Noura Hamad Al Hameli, Richard Cuttler and Mark Jonathan Beech. Details of the publication are as follows:

Department of Culture and Tourism (Noura Hamad Al Hameli, Richard Cuttler and Mark Jonathan Beech). 2023. The Church and Monastery of Sir Bani Yas. Abu Dhabi Culture.
ISBN: 978-9948-776-67-3. ==>

You can click on the link just above or scan this QR code to view the booklet:

Launch of new Sir Bani Yas Island Visitor Centre (10 November 2023)

The new Sir Bani Yas Island Visitor Centre opens to the public on Friday 10 November 2023. A new exhibition provides a valuable insight into the geology, archaeology and history of Sir Bani Yas Island, highlighting the important contribution made by the late UAE President His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The new Visitor Centre is located next to the 7th-8th century CE Church and Monastery discovered on the island in 1992.

The inauguration of the new Sir Bani Yas Visitor Centre was led by His Excellency Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak (Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism), His Excellency Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani (Undersecretary, Department of Culture and Tourism), and Rita Aoun-Abdo (Executive Director, Culture Sector, Department of Culture and Tourism), with other VIP dignitaries and guests from Sir Bani Yas Island.

Abu Dhabi Media Office, 14 November 2023
دائرة الثقافة والسياحة – أبوظبي تفتتح مركزاً للزوار في جزيرة صير بني ياس

Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi inaugurates Sir Bani Yas Island visitor centre

Sir Bani Yas Island (DCT website)

Sir Bani Yas Island (Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey website)

Sir Bani Yas Island: Explore UAE’s largest natural island (Khaleej Times)

Reopening of Delma Museum (10 November 2023)

The Delma Museum reopened to the public on Friday 10 November 2023. A new exhibition provides a valuable insight into life on Delma Island. The Museum is located within the former pearl merchant’s residence, the Mohammed bin Jasim Al Muraykhi house. This is situated in the historic core of Delma town adjacent to the Al Muraykhi Mosque, Al Dawsari Mosque and Al Muhannadi Mosque.

The reopening of Delma Museum was conducted by our Chairman, H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Undersecretary H.E. Saoud Abdulaziz Al Hosani and Executive Director of the Culture Sector, Rita Aoun-Abdo, alongside H.E. Nasser Mohammed Al Mansouri, Undersecretary of the Ruler’s Representative Court in Al Dhafra Region, H.E. Mohammed Ali Al Mansouri, Director General of Al Dhafra Region Municipality, and H.E. Brigadier Hamdan Saif Al Mansouri, Director of the Al Dhafra Region Police Directorate. They all attended the reopening of the Delma Museum following the completion of this major restoration initiative, plus installation of the new exhibition within the Delma Museum.

Abu Dhabi Media Office, 11 November 2023
دائرة الثقافة والسياحة – أبوظبي تُعيد افتتاح متحف دلما بعد ترميمه

Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi reopens Delma Museum following restoration

Delma Island (DCT website)

Timeframe: The untold stories of Abu Dhabi’s Delma Island (7 April 2023, The National)

Dalma Island (website)

New paper published on UAE dolphin stomach contents (8 Nov 2023)

A new paper has just been published in the journal Marine Mammal Science which I co-authored on the stomach contents of UAE dolphins:

Alkhamis, R., Smale, M. J., Beech, M. J., Brownell, R. L. Jr., Stahi, H., & Natoli, A. (2023). Stomach contents analysis of Tursiops aduncus and Sousa plumbea stranded along the United Arab Emirates coastline. Marine Mammal Science, 1–12.

I analysed and identified the fish sagittal otoliths that were present in the stomach contents of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) and Indian Ocean humpback dolphins (Sousa plumbea). This revealed that fish which were consumed included Carangidae: Carangoides bajad, and Gerreidae: Gerres longirostris, as well as a number of other species.

ZNM Archaeology Conference 2023 (6 Nov 2023)

An Archaeology conference was organised by the Zayed National Museum which was held on Monday 6th November 2023 at the Abrahamic Family House on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Peter Magee, the Director of Zayed National Museum, welcomed a renowned board of researchers, experts, dignitaries, and guests from across the globe, attending the Archaeology Conference 2023 under the theme “2,500 years of Prosperity, Exchange and Openness.” Dr Magee emphasises on the significance of the topics and findings presented this year towards defining our collective role in the exploration, preservation, and exhibition of the heritage of the United Arab Emirates. Decades worth of research, theories, knowledge and perspectives will be presented and showcased throughout the day by esteemed experts in the field, allowing attendees to be a part of the collaborative efforts to preserve and share our history.

About the Conference

The Archaeology Conference is an annual forum hosted by Zayed National Museum as one of the definitive platforms for research, discussion and recognition of achievements in the field of archaeology within the United Arab Emirates. The 2023 edition of the conference will focus on ‘2,500 years of Prosperity, Exchange and Openness’, with a vision to share key findings from recent excavations and disseminate knowledge about ongoing explorations. During this one-day conference, a board of distinguished international experts will congregate to exhibit the UAE’s rich history and national heritage sites to a global audience – featuring engaging presentations that reveal new insights into historical site archives, early-urbanised Islamic settlements and burial customs, traditional Arabian architecture as well as unveiling maritime discoveries and the most recent archaeological exploration and preservation projects in the region. The Archaeology Conference 2023 presents a unique opportunity for professionals and experts in the scientific field to share their research and findings – and ultimately establish influential relationships that will strengthen global ties and collaborations in the field of archaeology.

Speakers at the conference included: H.E. Saood Al Hosani, Abdulla Al Shehhi, Bruno Overlaet, Peter Sheehan, Dr Timothy Power, Dr Derek Kennet, Dr Seth Priestman, Dr Karol Juchniewicz, Dr Agnieszka Lic, Dr Richard Thorburn Howard Cuttler, Dr. Alexandre Monterio, Ammar Albanna, Annissa Gultom, Mariam Al Shehhi, Aaesha Al Dhahoori, Nagmeldeen Morshed Hamza, Dr Peter Magee and Alison Kelly.