Dalma Island has a fascinating history that spans thousands of years, which holds a wealth of knowledge and insight into ancient civilisations that are connected to the island in one way or another. In fact, an Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey in 1992 identified over 20 archaeological sites on Dalma, dating back to the Neolithic Period (Late Stone Age)!
Populated for over 7,000 years and once one of the Gulf's most important pearl diving centres, Dalma Island continues to maintain strong links to its maritime heritage. In addition, myths passed down through the generations continue to abound on the island – there’s the buried treasure legend, where sacks of pearls were hidden away by a "pearl pirate", the "museum of geological treasures" left behind by a dormant volcano and more!
The island also holds some of the region’s earliest evidence of date palm cultivation, along with Mesopotamian pottery and finely flaked stone tools. Over two hundred wells once supplied the island with fresh water, which indicates the island was used as a place of permanent residence. The evidence of imported pottery also indicates the presence of a thriving maritime trade along its shores.
Over the years, Dalma Island has been transformed with paved roads and new houses being built next to traditional homes, its own hospital, airport and frequent ferry service connecting it to the mainland and the Dalma Museum showcasing the island’s heritage. However, it still retains its traditional culture and charms that delight any visitor exploring this exceptional island.