Dibba Al Hisn is the most northerly of the three exclaves of the Emirate of Sharjah at the East Coast of the United Arab Emirates, situated in a fertile valley at the foot of the Hajar mountains. Named after the fort (hisn), it is the central of three districts of Dibba. Dibba Muhallab in the South belongs to the Emirate of Fujairah, and the northernmost Dibba Bayah is owned by the Sultanate of Oman.

Since the pre-Islamic era, the settlement has been an important site of maritime trade and agriculture. In 2004 a subterranian grave chamber (dated to the first century AD) was discovered and excavated by the Directorate of Antiquities of Sharjah under the direction of Dr. Sabah A. Jasim. Besides human remains the excavators uncovered grave goods such as pottery, glass, ivory objects, weapons, silver and gold, and precious metal finds. Dr. Jasim found evidence for trade contacts ranging from India to the Meditarranean and suggests that the port of Dibba was the main entry for foreign goods during the first centuries AD.

Dibba is famous in Islamic history as the site of one of the biggest battles of the Ridda wars, also known as the Wars of Apostasy. In 632 and 633 AD, Caliph Abu Bakr (the first Muslim Caliph following the prophet Muhammad's death) launched military campaigns against rebel Arabian tribes, and according to several sources, more than 10,000 people were killed in battles of Dibba in late November 632.

During the nearly 150 years of Portuguese rule in the region (until 1620/1650), in 1624, Grand Commander Rui Freire de Andrade ordered to build a fortress in Dibba Al Hisn to replace a destroyed one, after it was conquered. After the victory of the Arabs in Muscat in 1648, according to a treaty, the Portuguese were under the obligation to raze to the ground also their the fortress in Dibba Al Hisn (called Doba by them in that time).

In 2014, the Dibba Fort was still under reconstruction.

(© Summary from various sources: Universes in Universe)


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