Dhiyab bin Isa Al Nahyan

Sheikh of Abu Dhabi

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Dhiyab bin Isa al-Nahyan
Sheikh of the Bani Yas
PredecessorIsa ibn Nahyan
SuccessorShakhbut bin Dhiyab Al Nahyan
Ruler of Abu Dhabi
Predecessorposition established
SuccessorShakhbut bin Dhiyab Al Nahyan
BornLiwa Oasis (now Abu Dhabi emirate, UAE)
IssueShakhbut bin Dhiyab Al Nahyan
Dhiyab ibn Isa ibn Nahyan
HouseAl Nahyan family
FatherIsa ibn Nahyan

Sheikh Dhiyab ibn Isa al-Nahyan was the Sheikh of the Bani Yas of the Liwa Oasis (Abu Dhabi emirate) from 1761 to 1793[1] and the founder of the Al Bu Falah dynasty, which still rules Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE),[2][3] today.


Dhiyab ibn Isa, leader of the Bani Yas tribal confederation, sent a hunting party from Liwa in 1761[4] which tracked a gazelle to a brackish spring on the island. The gazelle became the symbol of Abu Dhabi, and gave it its name (literally Father of the Gazelle). In 1793, Dhiyab ordered his son Shakbut to move to the island. He did and then built a village of some 20 houses[1] and a fort there.[5][6][7]

The village expanded quickly, and within two years there were 400 houses on the island, which quickly became the capital of the Bani Yas.[8]

In 1793 Dhiyab visited Abu Dhabi in order to tell a branch of the Al Bu Falah led by his cousin Hazza bin Zayed bin Muhammad bin Falah to stop stirring up trouble with a neighbouring tribe. Hazza, who was in Bahrain at the time, returned and killed Dhiyab during an argument between them. The Bani Yas elders supported Dhiyab’s son, Shakhbut, and Hazza went into exile after his supporters were defeated.[9] Dhiyab's son Shakhbut acceded as sheikh.[1][10]


  1. ^ a b c Lorimer, John (1915). Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf. British Government, Bombay. p. 763.
  2. ^ "United Arab Emirates". worldstatesmen.org. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  3. ^ Gannon, Mo. "Key figures in the life of Qasr Al Hosn | The National". Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  4. ^ Donald., Hawley (1970). The Trucial States. London: Allen & Unwin. p. 335. ISBN 0049530054. OCLC 152680.
  5. ^ Lienhardt, Peter; Al-Shahi, Ahmed (2001). Sheikhdoms of Eastern Arabia. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9780333985274.
  6. ^ Steven, Jolandi (22 September 2015). "The Sheikhs of Abu Dhabi". Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  7. ^ "Press Kit - Qasr Al Hosn Festival 2016". qasralhosnfestival.ae. Archived from the original on 1 May 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  8. ^ Heard-Bey, Frauke (2005). From Trucial States to United Arab Emirates : a society in transition. London: Motivate. p. 44. ISBN 1860631673. OCLC 64689681.
  9. ^ Morton, M.Q. (February 2016). Keepers of the Golden Shore. Reaktion Books. p. 42. ISBN 978-1780235806.
  10. ^ Davidson, Christopher M. (2011). Abu Dhabi: Oil and Beyond. Hurst. ISBN 9781849041539.
Dhiyab bin Isa Al Nahyan
 Died: 1793
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Position established
Ruler of Abu Dhabi
Succeeded by
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