UAE: Rare Dh430,000 map of Abu Dhabi to be sold at upcoming book fair

A Dh2-million map serving as the first printed reference to the holy city of Makkah will also available for purchase


Mazhar Farooqui

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Supplied photo
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Published: Sat 27 Apr 2024, 1:39 PM

Last updated: Sat 27 Apr 2024, 9:47 PM

A unique glimpse into the past awaits visitors at the upcoming Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF), as Peter Harrington, a London-based rare book seller, unveils a fascinating collection: a mid-19th-century map featuring one of the earliest mentions of Abu Dhabi. Known as "Abuthubbi," the map is one of the earliest to acknowledge the region.

Annotated by a former British Army officer, "Abuthubbi" was used for a lecture on The History of the Arabs in London in April 1844.

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Priced at £95,000 (Dh435,740), the historical artefact will be available at the book fair at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (Adnec) from April 29 to May 5.

Among other treasures presented by Peter Harrington is a rare 16th-century book titled "Itinerarium Portugallensium" by Fracanzio da Montalboddo, featuring the first modern printed map to the holy city of Makkah.

Priced at £450,000 (Dh2.06 million), the woodcut map, known as the "Sinus Arabicus," marks the earliest appearance of the Gulf region and also serves as the first printed reference to the holy city of Makkah.

Pom Harrington, owner of Peter Harrington, stated that the selection at the ADIBF is curated to showcase enduring fascination with the Middle East throughout the ages.

"We are proud to present these exceptional rarities in Abu Dhabi, offering collectors, cultural institutes, enthusiasts, and scholars alike a unique opportunity to explore the rich tapestry of Middle Eastern history through the lens of rare cartographic records," said Harrington.

Peter Harrington has been a regular participant at the ADIBF since 2016, with the Middle Eastern market constituting approximately 10% of its global sales.

The 33rd edition of the ADIBF organised by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center (ALC), is expected to host over 1,350 exhibitors from 90 countries, up from 1,300 representing 84 countries last year.


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