Khor Dubai, a Traditional Merchants’ Harbour [ United Arab Emirates ]

cultural property

2012-2016 | english

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Dubai Municipality, United Arab Emirates


February 2012 / January 2016

The nomination was submitted in 2016 and withdrawn by the State Party in June 2018 (before the 42nd World Heritage Committee session)


UAE Tentative List

The Architectural Heritage and Antiquities Department of Dubai Municipality is in charge of the protection and development of the historic neighbourhoods. In the framework of the preparaton of the nomination file, AHAD asked for RC Heritage support. Regular meetings and workshops were held in Dubai, with all the stakeholders concerned by the life along the creek.

Khor Dubai (Dubai creek in arabic), a natural seawater inlet of the Arabian Gulf, divides the city of Dubai into two parts and has played a major role in the economic development of the Emirate throughout history, permitting the development of an urban settlement that thrived on maritime commerce, pearling and fishing. The Municipality of Dubai wished to inscribe the historic neighbourhoods of the city and part of the creek itself on the World Heritage List, and has developed a major conservation and reconstruction project aiming at re-creating bonds between the modern metropolis and its heritage.

Khor Dubai and its surrounding historic neighbourhoods constitute an outstanding valuable site where natural, architectural and cultural components create a unique urban landscape where influences from the entire Gulf area mingle into a coherent and alive ensemble preserving both tangible and intangible heritage values. The nominated property includes the first 4,5 km of the creek, from the original mouth to the first bridge built to connect the two banks, with the quays and the piers of the harbour where hundreds of wooden boats continue to moor and download goods according to a century-old tradition. The nomination builds upon the three major assets of the site: the architectural neighbourhoods of Al-Faheidi, Shindagha and Deira, the persistence of traditional wooden dhows connecting the two sides of the Gulf, and the continuing commercial relevance of Historic Dubai at the regional scale.