Restoration of Shindagha Historical Buildings- Dubai

Dubai Municipality

The stories behind the making of Dubai’s iconic high-rise buildings have excited people beyond boundaries. Often untold and perhaps equally exciting is the story of how Dubai Municipality has meticulously restored and revitalized the historical buildings in Shindagha, which was once the central and most distinctive district of old Dubai and the home to the Dubai’s ruling Sheikhs and leading merchants.

The project is considered a gigantic restoration process, in which 162 buildings were restored including the house of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum (former ruler of Dubai). The Architectural Heritage and Antiquities Department at Dubai Municipality has reconstructed the buildings by retaining the original construction structure dating back to the 19th century, and using the same traditional techniques and materials, after referring to the oldest available aerial and land maps of Dubai as well as a huge number of documents, images, community interviews and relevant technical reports about the historical conservation knowledge in the UAE and the region. The reconstructed houses which clearly express the flourishing aspects of life and the transcendent state of sophistication that characterized the elements of traditional architecture of Emirati construction were then rehabilitated applying the minimum possible intervention to allow for the ideal proper use of the buildings, which are being developed into integrated museums, representing 11 pavilions that includes 25 museum experiences to tell the story of Dubai and its history. The project aims to transform the area into the leading culture and heritage center in the region, and to boost cultural tourism.