Island off Abu Dhabi named after alabaster stone found on shore

Almarmar is a 4.3 sq km island off the coast of Ruwais, east of Sir Bani Yas Reserve

A screen grab from a video showing a mound of alabaster on Almarmar island off the coast of Abu Dhabi emirate. The island was named after the white stone by order of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. Courtesy: Abu Dhabi Government Media Office
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An island off Abu Dhabi emirate has been named after a rough white stone discovered on its shores.

The island, off the coast of Ruwais and just east of Sir Bani Yas Reserve in Al Dhafra, will henceforth be known as Almarmar – the Arabic word for alabaster.

The decision to name the 4.3 square-kilometre island was made by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The name was chosen after the mineral, traditionally used in stone carvings, was found in abundance on the island's shore. It also aims to highlight the historic importance of the region and reflect the country's heritage, state news agency Wam reported.

Sheikh Mohamed's decision was carried out by Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra.

Abu Dhabi government renamed a few areas in the emirate over the past few years as part of a campaign to increase references to Emirati culture and heritage.

In July, two popular areas in Abu Dhabi were merged and renamed Rabdan.

The two areas – initially known as Bein Al Jesrain (between the two bridges) and Officers’ City, were named after the Founding Father Sheikh Zayed’s horse.

Rabdan means greyish colour, as many of the horses are a dusty black colour

The same month, Ras Ghurab Island was renamed Al Alya – meaning something of a high status or a person of high standing in society.

Al Alya alsos mean the highest point of a spear or sword.

Abu Dhabi’s maritime authority also said it is considering developing some the emirate’s uninhabited islands.

Plans include improving access by placing pontoons for boats to dock at, and basic services for visitors such as lifeguards and toilets.