A Closer Look: Uncovering the Gulf's oldest pearling town in Umm Al Quwain

The National hears from reporter John Dennehy

A Closer Look is The National's show where we take an in-depth look at one of the main stories of the week.

The oldest pearling town in the Arabian Gulf has been discovered in Umm Al Quwain.

Announcing the major find on Monday, the Umm Al Quwain Department of Tourism and Archaeology said digs at the site this year have yielded evidence of a thriving 1,300-year-old settlement that predates the rise of Islam — with hundreds of houses and several thousand people.

The discovery was made on Al Sinniyah Island, close to the ancient monastery found last year, and it is now believed the monks made their home next to this major pearling settlement.

The National's reporter John Dennehy speaks to host Sarah Forster about exactly what was discovered and why this is a major historical milestone.

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Updated: March 23, 2023, 2:11 PM