Omran Al Owais
Omran Al Owais Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Emirati historian Omran Salem Abdullah Al Owais passed away on Monday. He was 88 years old. The Emirati veteran was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Award.

Omran Al Owais was raised in a family known for its engagement in pearl trading, travel and agricultural activities. However, commercial business would not have prevented some family members from being attached to history books and genealogy.

He became one of the most famous historians in the Gulf region as his studies in India and proficiency in English helped him read a lot of historical Arab and foreign sources, as well as reports and news about travelers.

Due to his extensive knowledge in genealogy and the region’s history of the region, Omran Al Owais was selected as a member of the Heritage and History Committee, which was formed at the time of the establishment of the UAE. He then became the committee’s vice-chairman and in charge of its office in Sharjah.

The late historian was one of the founding members of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Award and was a member of its board of trustees. He also was one of the founding members of the Cultural and Scientific Association, and a member of Al Nasr Club.

He published some of his writings in ‘’Al Deyar Al Omaniya’ publication, which was published in Sharjah in 1964.

In 2003, Omran Al Owais was named the cultural personality of the year by the Cultural and Scientific Association. In 2017, His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, honoured Omran Al Owais in recognition of his rich contribution to heritage and history, during the 2017 edition of the Sharjah International Narrator Forum.

Early life and education

He was born in Sharjah in 1932 and studied at Al Eslah School before joining Al Falah school in Dubai. He then attended an English language school in Dubai in 1947 and later took several courses on Arabic language and calligraphy.

In 1949, Omran Al Owais travelled to India where he studied at the preparatory high school in Mumbai and obtained a certificate equivalent to the general secondary certificate.

In India, he joined the Kuwait school, which was set up by the Kuwaiti government, to teach the Kuwaiti and Arab community. The veteran historian received his English diploma from the Higher Institute of Languages of India in 1958.

After completing his studies in India, he returned to the UAE where he practiced trade like the rest of his family, which qualified him to become member of the Municipal Council of Sharjah, and then a member of the Board of Directors of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.