A project to renovate some of the oldest parts of Dubai has been inspected by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
During his visit to the Shindagha Heritage District project, Sheikh Mohammed stressed the importance of preserving heritage sites, being an important part of Dubai and the UAE’s history.
"Preserving our heritage and culture are part of our national responsibility," he said. "The Emirati architectural heritage is part of our identity and culture.
"Future generations have to preserve it so that it remains a testament to the ability of Emiratis to innovate and discover solutions to adapt to their environment. This is clearly shown in the architectural heritage left behind by our forefathers," he added.
The project aims to transform the area into a leading culture and heritage centre in the region, dedicated to trade, crafts and the pearling industry.
It also aims to boost cultural tourism, which is a key focus in attracting visitors to the emirate.
The project will create new cultural and commercial opportunities and ultimately attract 12 million visitors to the historical district by 2020.
The Shindagha Heritage District development project also seeks to create the largest open-air museum in the world with 23 secondary museums.
Sheikh Mohammed was briefed about the progress of the project, which is being developed jointly by Dubai Municipality, Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.
So far, 150 historical buildings have been renovated, including the house of Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum. The renovation project is being carried out by Dubai Municipality’s Architectural Heritage Department.
During his visit, Sheikh Mohammed inspected the Heritage Majlis developed by the Engineering Office, which extends over 11,000 square feet.