UAE: Emirati historian Peter Hellyer buried in Abu Dhabi; hundreds including top ministers attend funeral

He had arrived in the Emirates in 1975 to record a documentary film about the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and settled here


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 4 Jul 2023, 12:07 PM

Last updated: Tue 4 Jul 2023, 10:40 PM

Peter Hellyer, a renowned writer and UAE historian who passed away at the age of 75, was laid to rest at the Baniyas Cemetery in Abu Dhabi on Monday. Hundreds of Emiratis and expatriates turned up to offer their respects as Hellyer was buried as per Islamic rituals. Top ministers and officials attended the funeral.

Originally a UK citizen, the historian was granted UAE citizenship in 2010. He had arrived in the UAE in 1975 to record a documentary film about the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and settled here. Spanning nearly five decades, Hellyer worked as a journalist, historian, environmentalist and archeologist.

He also authored many books on the UAE’s archaeological heritage and environment.

The UAE President, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, led the tributes that poured in for Hellyer, highlighting how he served the Emirates with “devotion for many years”. In a tweet, Sheikh Mohamed spoke of his lasting impact in the fields of archaeology, the environment and the media. “Peter was a model of dedication and generosity, and we pray that he rests in peace.”

His funeral embodied what Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said of him: “The Englishman who loved the UAE until he became one of its sons.”

Among those who attended the funeral and memorial service were Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth; Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi; Mubarak Al Nakhi, Undersecretary of Ministry of Culture and Youth; and Lt.-Colonel Staff Pilot Sheikh Zayed bin Hamad bin Hamdan.


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