The Kuwaiti Umm Al-Namel island, located in Kuwait bay with abundant ancient relics, is an accessible resting location for fishermen and sea-goers.
Umm Al-Namel, the fourth largest Kuwaiti island after Boubyan, Failaka and Warba, with a 568,000-sq-m land, has been named Umm Al-Namel (Arabic for mother of ants) due to existence of plenty ants during summer, said Khaled Al-Ansari, antiquity researcher, in an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
In the past, it used to be called "Al-Ghurba island," after the name of a family, a branch from Al-Awazem tribe, that had lived on it 250 years ago.
Relics show that this family built 30 dwellings, a mosque and fishing bamboo stacks' weirs. The island had been also named "Al-Odah" (Kuwaiti archaic for old) or the Large Island, as compared to an islet, named Akaz, located nearby. Moreover, it had been known as Al-Shuwaikh.
Umm Al-Namel is blanketed with shrubs and its surrounding water locations attract plentiful fish and other sea creatures. Al-Awazem natives used to earn their living by using the mesh weirs to catch fish, crabs and shrimps.
The island, located in Kuwait Bay, is very close to Al-Oshairej beach. When waters turn shallow, people can reach it on foot or by vehicles. It is also easily accessible at night time, with visitors guided by a lighthouse at its northeastern corner.
Sea goers and fishermen favor the island due to its close location and some have built chalets on it for recreational times Al-Ansari said that despite its small size, it harbors priceless antiquities proving that it had been inhabited in pre-Christ times. It had also been used as a military fortress due to its close proximity to the Kuwaiti mainland.
Kuwaiti archeologist Dr. Fahad Al-Wuhaibi visited the island in 1985, excavating antiques dating back to the Bronze Age, also known as the Dilmun Era. Potteries that resemble those found in Bahrain, dating back to the Dilmun Kingdom, had been discovered on it.