Dubai — Dubai has been forced to shrink the size of the historic area around the Creek for its modified bid to be recognised as a world heritage site.
Almost 60 per cent of the area proposed in the emirate’s first bid to enter the World Heritage Sites’ List has now been restricted to the buffer zone, limiting the heritage area to just 1.75km from the previous 4.5km stretch.
The move is to facilitate the re-submission of the bid to the United Nation’s Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), which last year deferred Dubai’s entry to the prestigious list that includes Egypt’s pyramids and India’s Taj Mahal.
Rashad Mohammed Bukhash, Director of the Architectural Heritage Department at the Dubai Municipality, on Sunday said the modified submission will see the heritage site demarcated the creek stretch from the beginning of Shindagha till the end of Al Fahidi historic area. “Previously, we had (included the area) from Shindagha up to Al Maktoum Bridge. Now, we have reduced it to the end of Al Fahidi historic area so that the slightly modern part of the Creek will not come under the proposal,” Bukhash said.
Speaking after a Press conference held to announce the fourth International Architectural Conservation Conference and Exhibition to be held in Dubai in 2016, Bukhash said the emirate will also hold an international seminar on March 25 and 26 to come up with a Dubai Charter on Reconstruction of Heritage Buildings. Holding the seminar is also one of the requirements to convince the Unesco about the originality of the reconstruction works done on the historical buildings.
As many as 692 houses in Shindagha and Fahidi areas, Al Fahidi Fort, Ahamadiya school, the old market of Bur Dubai, the old souq of Deira, and the heritage house in the area come under the proposed heritage site.
Dubai Municipality Director-General Hussain Nasser Lootah said an estimated 12 million out of the 20 million visitors expected for Dubai Expo 2020 are anticipated to visit the historic areas of Dubai.
Bukhash said other modifications like providing comparative studies and meeting prescribed technical specifications will also be done before the bid is submitted again by January 31, 2016.
An announcement about the eligibility of Dubai Creek to be a world heritage site can be expected in June 2017.
The 2016 conference will be held from February 8 to 10 under the theme ‘Sustainable Heritage: Global Vision, Local Experiences’. March 31 this year is the deadline for submission of abstracts.