Dubai: UAE’s iconic waterway, Dubai Creek, which flows between Bur Dubai and Deira, has just been included as one of the 30 nominees this year for UNESCO’s famous World Heritage Sites list, it has been confirmed.
The World Heritage Committee is currently deliberating which sites should be protected and preserved because of their cultural or physical significance.
There are at least 30 locations being considered and the list includes sites from all over the world, including the Naumburg Cathedral in Germany, the Ancient City of Qalhat in Oman, Caliphate City of Mediha Azahara in Spain, among others.
#Dubai Creek is one of the 30 sites nominated for inclusion on @UNESCO’s World Heritage List during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee held currently in Bahrain. pic.twitter.com/HnxddvFZrd— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) June 24, 2018
Also known as Khor Dubai, the Dubai Creek holds a significance in the history of the economic development of the emirate.
More than a hundred years ago, it was the centre of harbour-based trade, where boats, dhows and barges passed through to bring cargoes into Dubai.
“[The Creek] is the place where Dubai took place,” noted Jeremy Jones, senior research associate at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
“One of the best anecdotes is that it was about 100 years ago that Dubai started offering tax breaks to pearl fishermen and I think this is a perfect example of how Dubai has been ahead of the game.”
Recognising the importance of the creek, Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum took steps in the 1960s to deepen and widen it. This enabled larger boats to dock there and later strengthened Dubai’s commercial position.
'Heart and soul of Dubai'
The waterway is no longer the centre of harbour-based trade, but it’s still considered the “heart and soul of Dubai.”
In recent years, a number of mega projects have been undertaken and they continue to highlight this vital waterway. Water from the creek now flows into Dubai Canal and the world's next tallest tower is currently being constructed at the Dubai Creek area.
"The Creek is the very heart and soul of Dubai – its raison d’etre,” His Highness Shaikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, once said.
“Such has always been the case with Dubai and its Creek, which has shaped the city for over 100 years.”
The 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee is scheduled from June 24 to July 4, 2018.