About the Author

Michael Quentin Morton grew up in Qatar, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in the 1950s and 1960s. After qualifying as a barrister, Quentin spent over 30 years in a legal career before concentrating on writing about the history of the Middle East.

Since In the Heart of the Desert was first published in 2006, he has written a number of books. Black Gold and Frankincense: Photographs of Southern Arabia by the Early Oil Explorers, 1947-71 was published by the National Center of Documentation and Research (now the National Archives) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2010. Buraimi: The Struggle for Power, Influence and Oil in Arabia, the story of the Buraimi dispute, was published by IB Tauris on 30 August 2013. His fourth book, The Third River, Aspects of Oil in the Middle East, 1887 - 1979, was published by the UAE National Archives in 2014. He has also written a number of articles about the history of the oil business.

In April 2014 he attended the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair for a book signing of The Third River (English and Arabic versions) and Buraimi (Arabic version). In April 2016, he again attended the book fair, this time to sign an Arabic version of In the Heart of the Desert, which is also published by the UAE National Archives. Keepers of the Golden Shore: A History of the United Arab Emirates, was published in February 2016, with an Arabic version pubished in November 2018. 

Empires and Anarchies: A History of Oil in the Middle East, is now available from Reaktion Books in the UK, Chicago University Press in the USA, and all good bookshops. The Petroleum Gulf, The Discovery and Development of Offshore Oil in the UAE was published in both English and Arabic versions in the UAE in December 2016. His latest book, A Fateful Intrusion, the British India Line in the Arabian Gulf, 1862-1982, has just been published in English and Arabic versions by the UAE National Archives.

For details of the UAE National Archives' launch of the Arabic version of In the Heart of the Desert, click here.

On 26 June 2016, The National newspaper of the UAE published an interview with the author, details of which can be found here: 'The Gush that Started a Rush'.

The author signing copies of his books at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair, 30 April 2014 (Photo: Rob Buckley)

Quentin has also lectured about the Middle East to various bodies including the Anglo-Omani Society, the British Yemeni Society, the Royal Society of Asian Affairs in London, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in Istanbul and London, and the Geological Society of Oman and Historical Association of Oman in Muscat.

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