Sa'ad ad-Din Islands

Not to be confused with Sa'ad ad-Din II.
Sa'ad ad-Din Islands
Location Somaliland (De Facto)
Coordinates From 11°29.5′N 43°17′E / 11.4917°N 43.283°E / 11.4917; 43.283 to 11°21′N 43°28′E / 11.350°N 43.467°E / 11.350; 43.467
Archipelago Zeila Archipelago
Total islands 6
Major islands Sa'ad ad-Din, Aibat
 Somaliland (De Facto)
Ethnic groups Uninhabited [1]
Additional information
Claimed by Somalia

The Sa'ad ad-Din Islands (Somali: Sacadin jasiiradaha, Arabic: سعد الدين إد جزر), also Romanized as Sa'ad-ed-din[2] and known as the Zeila Archipelago,[3] are group of islands off the northern coast of the de facto independent, but internationally unrecognized Somaliland. They are situated near the ancient city of Zeila.[4]


The name for the archipelago comes from the Somali Sultan Sa'ad ad-Din II who was killed by Emperor Yeshaq I of Abyssinia on the main island in 1415.[5][6] Along with his name, there many different spelling for the island such as Sa'ad ed Din,[4] Sa'ad-ed-din,[2] and Sa'ad-ad-Din.[7] The archpeliogo is also known as the Zeila Archipelago[3] and the Sa'ad ad-Din group.[8]


The Sa'ad ad-Din archipelago is made of six small island all of which are low-lying and have sandy beaches.[8][9] The largest of these islands are Sa'ad ad-Din and Aibat,[10] which are six and nine miles off the coast of Zeila, respectively.[11] There is also a lighthouse at Aibat.[11]


The Sa'ad ad-Din Islands are well known for their splendid coral reefs similar to those found on the southern coast of Oman.[4] These reefs are the most diverse and well formed coral reefs on the coast of the Gulf of Aden[12] and possibly the largest in the region.[13] From provincial counts, ninety-nine different species of coral from forty-three different generas have been found on the islands.[4]

There are also a hundred and thirty-two different species of coral fish found around the archipelago. Many of these species include those also found in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean.[14]

The island of Sa'ad ad-Din and Aibat (called Ceebaad in Somali)[15] both are sites of major bird colonies.[16] On the island of Sa'ad ad-Din alone, there were more than 100,000 breeding pairs recorded.[10]

Following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and other NGO worked with local authorizes to establish protected areas and monitor fishers on the islands.[17]


The archipelago currently has no permanent residents and is uninhabited, though it is still occasionally visited by tourists, local fishermen, and those who wish to honor Sa'ad ad-Din II.[1]

See also


Further reading

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