10 Iconic Architecture Marvels in Dubai to Get Historic Status

10 Iconic Architecture Marvels in Dubai to Get Historic Status

Dubai is preserving 35 buildings, including Jumeirah Zoo and Al Nasr Leisureland, to protect its cultural and architectural heritage.

Dating from the 1960s to 1990s, these structures reflect Dubai's recent architectural history and its journey through historical, cultural, social, and economic transformations. This initiative, the second phase of a larger project, honors the vision of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, who played a pivotal role in Dubai's rapid development and modernization. The project aims to safeguard areas, sites, and buildings of significant historical relevance, preserving the emirate's heritage for future generations.

During the first phase of the project, the Dubai Municipality prioritized the preservation of buildings from the city's earlier historical periods.

Here are 10 of the most prominent sites that are covered in this project:

Jumeirah Zoo

One of the earliest zoos in the country, the Jumeirah Zoo was situated on the Jumeirah Beach Road and opened in 1967. With a handful of animals as exhibits, the zoo was small in size but a big part of the lives of many long-term UAE residents. It shut its doors in 2017 when all its inhabitants were moved to the Dubai Safari. It remains to be seen how the building will be repurposed.

Also Read: A Guide to Palm Jumeriah in Dubai: The manmade island

Al Nasr Leisureland

Photo: Facebook / Paul Woodlock

Before the Dubai Mall's massive ice rink, UAE residents frequented Al Nasr Leisureland for skating. As one of the country's oldest entertainment centers, it was a hotspot for bowling, arcade games, and swimming in the 1990s. The venue hosted stage shows and concerts, covering the ice rink with carpet. While newer entertainment centers have emerged, Al Nasr Leisureland remains a beloved hangout for families and youth.

Water tank at Al Khazan Park

The unique blue-and-white water tank in Al Khazan area has been a permanent fixture in the lives of many Dubai residents. Now located right across City Walk, the 40m tank and the park surrounding it was originally built in 1980. In 2012, the park was rebuilt to become the the first “zero-energy” park in the emirate.

Dubai Municipality Main Building

Situated near the Union Square Metro station along Dubai Creek, this building was inaugurated by the late Queen Elizabeth II during her initial UAE visit in 1979. Adorned with a plaque dating back to February 25, 1979, it remains home to various municipal departments.

Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Palace – Hatta

Photo: Wam file

At a time when there were paved roads to Hatta, the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum built a guest house in the city. This was a place for him to relax as well as hold business meetings. A road to Hatta began being constructed in 1979 and took several years to complete.

Clock Tower

A long-standing landmark of Dubai, the Clock Tower was built in the 1960s. Located in Deira, it became an iconic structure that continued to fascinate residents and tourists alike. It has been rebuilt several times over the years, the last one being in 2023 when the tower received a Dh10-million facelift.

Jumeirah Mosque

Photo: Dubai Municipality

Opened in 1979, the popular tourist attraction was a gift from the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the former Ruler of Dubai. With a style of architecture that originated from Syria and Egypt, the mosque cuts a striking figure when travelling along the Jumeirah Beach Road. With regular guided tours offered to visitors, the mosque has played a central role in fostering cultural understanding.

The Flame Monument

Located in the middle of the flame roundabout in Deira, the eternally burning flame was a source of wonder for most UAE residents. Lit by Sheikh Rashid in 1969 to mark the start of oil production in the emirate, it was a monument that signified prosperity. Later, when the roundabout was demolished, the monument was preserved and the flame continued to burn brightly.

Al Maktoum Hospital

The first hospital to be built in the UAE in 1951, Al Maktoum Hospital was a beacon of hope for both residents and expats. Although the hospital was shut down in 2009, it has played a significant role in the healthcare industry of the emirate. Now, it will be immortalised in this project.

Safa Park Building

Dubai's Safa Park

For years, Dubai residents headed to one park to host their gatherings — Safa Park. Created in 1975 in the then outskirts of the emirate, Safa Park quickly became popular among residents. The park later underwent renovations, with amenities, play areas and washrooms added. In 2014, part of the park was demolished for the Canal project. To pay homage to its place in the history of Dubai, the Safa Park building will also be preserved.

Other buildings that will be maintained and protected are:

  • Rashid Tower
  • Dubai Petroleum Building
  • Terminal 1 at Dubai International Airport
  • Dubai Television Building
  • Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed Palace - Za'abeel
  • Hospitality Palace
  • Sheikh Rashid Bin Saeed School - Hatta\
  • Za'abeel Secondary School
  • Al Ras Library
  • Dubai Land Department Building
  • Fish Roundabout
  • Dubai Courts Building
  • Diwan Building
  • Naif Police Station
  • Emirates Post Building - Al Karama
  • Emirates Golf Club
  • Dubai Creek Golf Club
  • Rashidiya Grand Mosque
  • Al Fahidi Mosque
  • Health Authority Mosque
  • Omar Bin Haider Mosque,
  • Dubai Hospital,
  • Baraha Hospital
  • Rashid Hospital
  • Latifa Hospital (Al Wasl)

News Source: Khaleej Times

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