Historian Peter Hellyer Who Helped Tell the UAE's Story Passes Away

  • Publish date: Monday، 03 July 2023
Historian Peter Hellyer Who Helped Tell the UAE's Story Passes Away

Peter Hellyer, a columnist and a noted historian who helped tell the UAE's history, passed away on Monday at the age of 75.

Chancellor of UAE University Zaki Nusseibeh confirmed that Hellyer passed away at Cleveland Hospital in Abu Dhabi after struggling with an illness.

Hellyer first came to the UAE as a documentary filmmaker in 1975. He initially developed documentaries about the overseas visits of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the nation's Founding Father.

He later helped establish the English-language service of state-owned WAM, and also headed foreign language broadcasting for Abu Dhabi and served as managing editor of the daily Emirates News for many years.

After the paper closed, Hellyer continued his work in news and communications, becoming an information adviser to the National Media Council.

He was editor of the group's journal, Tribulus, for several decades. 

Hellyer had a passion for heritage and history. He was the author and editor of numerous books, including Waves of Time, a maritime history of the UAE. Also, one of his books, Hidden Riches, provided an archaeological guide to the country.

Tributes have been pouring in on social media, with Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture and Youth, expressing his condolences and saying: "Today, we lost Peter Hellyer, a great historian who dedicated 50+ years to UAE's environmental and archaeological heritage, notably Sir Bani Yas. His devotion to this land will inspire us to preserve our environment, monuments, and history. His legacy endures."

The UAE's ambassador to the UK, Mansoor Abulhoul, also spoke of Hellyer's contribution to the Gulf nation, saying: "Deeply saddened by the loss of Peter Hellyer, a true friend of the UAE whose legacy will remain imprinted in our hearts. His immeasurable contribution to our national narrative and pivotal role in our media landscape are a testament to his love for the UAE."

Image source: @mazaraashop Instagram account.

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