Church of the East monastery on Sir Bani Yas

In 1992, upon the discovery of remnants of an ancient, buried, building in the United Arab Emirates on the island of Sir Bani Yas, and through further excavation was found to be a 7th century Church of the East Christian monastery which operated for 150 years.[1][2] In 1995, a site director of the excavation project discovered a Christian cross in the form of a small piece of plaster.[2]

Aerial view of Sir Bani Yas Island

Assessments by the team in charge of excavating the ancient Christian monastery concluded that the site was at one time home to about 30 monks from the Church of the East.[2]

Sheikh Zayed the late former President of the UAE, gave a natural reserve designation to the Sir Bani Yas Island.[3][2]

Pope Francis, at the invitation of the United Arab Emirates, attended a week long trip to the Arabian Peninsula, a first of its kind for the Roman Catholic Church, on the location of the 1400 year old Church of the East monastery discovered in the UAE.[4]


  1. ^ "UAE's oldest Christian site opened on Sir Bani Yas". Gulf News. June 13, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d "Oldest Christian site discovered in UAE reopens to public". The National. Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  3. ^ "Sir Bani Yas Island". Soil Solutions. 2019-07-04. Retrieved 2019-11-02.
  4. ^ "Pope's visit speaks to a 1,400-year-old tradition of Christianity in the Gulf". The National. Retrieved 2019-11-02.