Renowned historian Peter Hellyer, who chronicled the history of the UAE, has died at the age of 75.
Tributes poured in on social media, with many senior UAE officials recalling Khalier’s invaluable contributions over the decades. Zaki Nusseibeh, rector of the UAE University, confirmed that the iconic historian died of illness at the Cleveland Hospital in Abu Dhabi.
Hellyer first came to the UAE in 1975 as a documentary filmmaker. He has worked in various public communications departments. He is also the editor-in-chief of the daily Emirates News.
Minister of Culture and Youth Salem bin Khalid Al Qasimi expressed his condolences, saying: “Today, we lost Peter Helier, a great historian who contributed to the environment and archeology of the UAE. The legacy, especially Sir Banias, has dedicated more than 50 years of experience. His dedication to this land will inspire us to preserve our environment, monuments and history. His legacy will live on forever.”
Hellyer was particularly involved in the excavation of this 1,400-year-old monastery on Sir Bani Yas Island.
UAE Ambassador to the UK Mansoor Abu Hul also spoke of Khalil’s “immeasurable contribution”. “Deeply saddened by the passing of Peter Helier, a true friend of the UAE whose legacy will always be etched in our hearts. His immeasurable contribution to our national narrative and pivotal role in our media landscape is testament to His love for the UAE.”
Khalier spoke highly of the relationship between the UAE and the UK in an interview with the Khalij Times following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last year. He is also the former Chairman of the Emirates Natural History Group and has written extensively on UAE heritage, history and wildlife as well as several government yearbooks.
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