“Pearls have always been prized, and many of the world’s finest pearls came from the waters of The Gulf. But the life of a diver was full of hardships and dangers.”


Listen along as Julia Johnson reads her book The Pearl Diver.

Saeed is going to learn how to dive – his father has promised to teach him! It is the start of the pearling season and this is his first trip out on the waters of the Arabian Gulf.

Leaving the rest of his family behind on the shore, Saeed and his father join the crew of a pearling dhow and set out to spend the hot summer months on the high seas.

He learns how the pearl divers hunt for the treasures of the seabed and discovers the secrets and dangers of the sea.

This delightful story, carefully researched from oral and written sources – some dating from more than 150 years ago – offers an insight into the way of life that sustained the Arabian Gulf right up until the discovery of oil.

Teaching Resources

If you’re looking to use The Pearl Diver in your classroom, you can download a free teacher’s pack here.