Dubai: They were Dubai’s main landmarks in the seventies and eighties. Now, the Shaikh Rashid Tower (old World Trade Centre), the Clock Tower and their contemporary buildings that shaped the urban environment of Dubai will be protected as “modern heritage buildings.”
Dubai Municipality on Sunday said it has begun documenting modern heritage buildings to preserve old buildings dating back to the seventies and eighties.
“These buildings had a great impact in shaping the urban environment and the crystallization of the architectural character of the past century and the documentation of the most important chronological events of the emirate. These buildings still occupy a great importance in our present time for their cultural, social, tourist and architectural value,” the civic body said in a press release.
The move comes within the framework of the municipality’s interest in preserving the urban heritage and spreading awareness of the importance of documenting historical buildings that were witness to the urban and economic boom of the emirate of Dubai.
A specialized team has started preparing the preliminary list for making an inventory of the buildings of modern heritage in many old Dubai areas and classifying them according to the international architectural and urban standards established by organisations specialized in the field of building preservation and restoration.
Among the buildings and landmarks that have been included in the list are the Burj Rashid (Trade Centre Building) and the Clock Tower, which are considered the important landmarks in emirate.
“Preserving our urban heritage and culture that we have inherited through generations and the intellectual and creative legacy it has presented to us is a historic responsibility that we will carry today and our children and grandchildren in future,” said Dawoud Al Hajri, director general of Dubai Municipality.
“Modernity is only complete by absorbing history, learning from its lessons, and celebrating what it has given us as evidence that conveys to us a picture of the past that our forefathers and grandfathers lived and how they made the first beginnings of our modern renaissance,” added Al Hajri.
“As part of our keenness to document the movement of urban and architectural development, we started documenting, preserving, promoting and supporting cooperation and creativity in this field, as it also includes a list of buildings that will be preserved, to be included within the initiative.”
Al Hajri said the initiative is based on documenting and disseminating knowledge and awareness on modern heritage, raising the level of appreciation for it, as well as encouraging cooperation and communication between modern heritage and related fields.
Additionally, it will enhance cooperation and international presence in the field of modern heritage as the initiative is in line with the international trends to preserve cultural heritage.
He added that Dubai Municipality is in continuous coordination with UNESCO to include many buildings of old Dubai in the list of World Heritage sites.