Ancient Tides, 2001

Distribution: McKinnon Films and Hit Entertainment

Running Time: Approx. 53 minutes

A marine oasis lies at the heart of the world’s largest desert. Only 15,000 years ago rising tides from the Indian Ocean combined with the floodwaters of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to form the Arabian Gulf.

Today humpback whales give birth and giant manta rays feed in its plankton-rich water. Millions of mudskippers and migrating birds harvest the riches of the wide intertidal zones. Cormorants breed in vast colonies and dive in their hundreds to feast on schooling fish. Green turtles return to breed on the beaches of their birth. Coral reefs and mangroves teem with wildlife and provide refuge for rare Arabian species.

Man’s ancient dependence on the Gulf is witnessed on Assyrian temple reliefs and in rare archive material. Modern development has transformed the Gulf and wildlife continues to be displaced. However conservationists are working to turn the tide and create a new equilibrium between man and the natural world.


Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Karan Island and countries of the Arabian Gulf.


  • Producer/ Director: Michael McKinnon
  • Executive Producer for the GCCJPI Bader Al Mudhaf
  • Narrator: Andrew Sachs
  • Photography: John Bulmer
  • Underwater Photography: Peter Scoones and Ron Taylor
  • Additional Photography: David Shale
  • Editor: John Hackney
  • Composer: Deborah Mollinson
  • Scriptwriter: Joe Kennedy
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