Tributes poured in for him, with many senior UAE officials recalling his invaluable contributions over the decades
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.
He was recognized for his service to the country and was granted citizenship in 2010. Later in 2013, he was awarded the Order of Abu Dhabi, the most prestigious honor available to a civilian in the emirate. The prestigious honor was awarded for his outstanding efforts in identifying significant archaeological sites in the UAE.
In a touching post about him, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said, “This Briton loved the UAE until he became one of its sons.” , God bless him.”
State news agency Waam also expressed condolences on the passing of the Emirati historian, author and journalist.
The news agency said on its official website, “The deceased was known for his passion for archaeology, he was the founding partner and director of the Abu Dhabi Archaeological Survey of the Archipelago, which discovered several important archaeological sites in the UAE. He has spent considerable time over the past few years pursuing and writing about his interests in local bird life, archaeology, and the heritage and history of the UAE people.
“…Helier will be fondly remembered for his incredible dedication to the country he loved. The numerous books and papers he wrote over the years are a testament to his commitment and dedication to the country he chose to call home.” Heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased.
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.
Dr. Anwar Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President, expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family of Peter Helier, thanking him for his efforts in portraying the UAE’s rich historical and cultural narrative.
He tweeted: “Sincere condolences to the family of journalist Peter Heller, who loved the UAE and contributed sincerely and sincerely to conveying the narrative of the UAE’s history and civilization during a journey filled with dedication and work. The contribution was joined by his companion, the late Ibrahim Abed. The departure of both men has left an unforgettable mark on the UAE media scene.”
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.”
Other Emirati luminaries highlighted his deep understanding of his field and unwavering passion as a source of inspiration that greatly influenced the understanding of the world and its past.
Ahlam Bolooki, CEO of the Emirates Literary Foundation, said in a statement to Khaleej Times: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Peter Hellyer, a brilliant historian and fascinating A storyteller. Through his words, he breathed life into the stories of the past, leaving an indelible impression on all who were lucky enough to hear him speak during the ELF Interboundary Literary Dialogue Initiative in 2020. Peter’s insight, Wisdom and an unwavering passion for his work. The subject is truly inspiring and has shaped our understanding of the world and its history. His dedication to reviving forgotten stories and illuminating historical events will continue to be a legend for generations to come Valuable resource.”
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.