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Dahlak Kebir (Arabic: دهلك كبير‎, Italian: Grande Dahlac) is the largest island of the Dahlak Archipelago.[1] Situated in the Red Sea off of the coast of Eritrea, it was formerly called Dahlak Deset.

Dahlak Kebir
دهلك كبير
Grande Dahlac
Dahlak Kebir is located in Eritrea
Dahlak Kebir
Dahlak Kebir
Dahlak Kebir (Eritrea)
LocationRed Sea
Coordinates15°43′21″N 40°05′21″E / 15.722469°N 40.089111°E / 15.722469; 40.089111Coordinates: 15°43′21″N 40°05′21″E / 15.722469°N 40.089111°E / 15.722469; 40.089111
ArchipelagoDahlak Archipelago
Largest settlementDahlak Kebir


Dahlak Kebir has a population of around 2,500 people speaking the Dahalik language. Its major industries include fishing, sea cucumber collection and tourism.

The village of Dahlak Kebir lies on the west of the island and is known for its ancient cisterns and necropolis, dating from at least AD 912. It is also known for its fossils. Other features of the island include pre-Islamic ruins at Adel, wildlife and mangrove swamps. Ferries link the island with Massawa and several smaller islands.


  1. ^ Insoll, Timothy (2003-07-03). The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa. Cambridge University Press. p. 51. ISBN 9780521657020.