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UAE: Final design approved for rehabilitated Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai’s oldest building

Sheikh Hamdan reviews progress of project, which will reopen to visitors as a new museum

Image Credit: X/@HamdanMohammed

Dubai: In alignment with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to safeguard the nation’s cultural legacy, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, on Monday reviewed the progress of the ongoing Al Fahidi Fort Rehabilitation Project.

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In a meeting attended by Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Member of the Dubai Council, Sheikh Hamdan approved the vision and final design of the Al Fahidi Fort Rehabilitation Project.

The update, dedicated to safeguarding the iconic monument’s rich heritage and history, focused on Dubai Culture’s initiative to develop the content, architecture, exhibition design, and branding for the project initiated by Sheikh Hamdan in 2021.

Sheikh Hamdan said: “The rehabilitation project highlights our commitment to safeguarding Dubai’s heritage and showcases our efforts to blend the richness of our history with the dynamism of our future. Guided by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and through thoughtful design and visionary planning, we aspire to create an immersive experience that honours our historical legacy and invites the world to discover the timeless stories of our land. The preservation and protection of these invaluable assets is an integral part of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which lays out the blueprint for Dubai’s sustainable urban development in line with HH Sheikh Mohammed’s vision to transform Dubai into the world’s best city to live in.”


Sheikh Hamdan received extensive updates on the components of the Al Fahidi Fort Rehabilitation Project including improvements to accessibility and traffic management around the Al Fahidi Fort, infrastructural upgrades aimed at respecting the area’s historical significance, enhancements to public spaces near the Fort and associated amenities, all aimed at elevating the visitor experience within the area that is a key part of Dubai’s history and cultural heritage.

Sheikha Latifa said: “The endorsement by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the vision and final design for the Al Fahidi Fort’s restoration marks a pivotal moment in Dubai’s cultural and museum evolution. Following the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and propelled by the collective work of Dubai Culture, this initiative underscores our resolve to preserve Dubai’s rich history and cultural heritage. With the upcoming hosting of ICOM 2025, Dubai’s investment in its museum sector is evident. This initiative goes beyond mere conservation to embody a lively process of contemplation and rejuvenation, contributing to the development of the Dubai Historical District and reinforcing our broad ambitions for the cultural and creative industries.”

The briefing on the project’s progress was also attended by Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, and Deputy Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation; Mattar Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Commissioner General for Infrastructure, Urban Planning and Well-Being; Staff Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Muhairi, Director of the Office of The Minister of Defence, and Hala Badri, Director-General of Dubai Culture.

Dating back to the late 1700s, Al Fahidi Fort connects visitors to Dubai’s past. Serving as a defensive structure and guardian over Old Dubai, the Fort offers insights into the fascinating history of defensive architecture in the UAE. The new Fort will take visitors on a journey through time, telling the story of how the area developed into a trading hub along the banks of Dubai Creek, benefitting from the security and safety the Fort provided. The transformation of the area into a vital focal point for trade and commerce led to its emergence as the heart of Old Dubai. The rehabilitation project will also highlight the Fort’s role as an important cultural site that was a centre of governance, home to the Al Maktoum ruling family, and the nucleus of the city’s early development.

Once completed, the new museum will open its doors to the public, offering a voyage through its architectural vision, historical significance and cultural narrative.