UAE works to restore historic buildings in cultural city

September 3rd, 2008 - 1:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 3 (IANS) Authorities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have launched a major initiative to preserve a number of historic buildings in the cultural city of Al Ain.The projects include the restoration of Al Jahili Castle and House of Hamad bin Hadi Al Daramaki, according to Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, director general of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the government agency in charge of overseeing the initiative.

This is part of several initiatives being taken by ADACH’s various departments to preserve the heritage of the city, according to an ADACH statement.

“At the forefront of these projects is the restoration of Al Jahili Castle, which is situated near Al Jahili Garden near the Al Ain Oasis in the City centre,” said Sami Al Masri, director of the Strategic Planning Office at ADACH.

Also known as the ‘Garden City’ of the UAE, Al Ain, located in the eastern region of the emirate of Abu Dhabi, is the fourth largest city in the UAE.

According to Al Masri, the Al Jahili Castle, though in good shape, would still undergo restoration work on all of its historic layers, before hosting an information centre and a permanent exhibition on the British explorer and travel writer Wilfred Thesiger, locally known as Mubarak Bin London.

The project is expected to be ready before the end of 2008.

Among other major projects is the restoration of the House of Hamad Bin Hadi Al Daramaki in the oasis of Hilli, according to the ADACH statement.

Al Ain has been continuously inhabited for 4,000 years and is central to the cultural heritage of this Gulf nation.

The birthplace of UAE’s founding father, Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the city figured in this year’s list of nominees for Unesco World Heritage Sites list.

The work at Al Ain is part of ADACH’s new programme to restore and protect a group of historic buildings that require urgent intervention.

The programme is aimed at ensuring safety in these buildings and save these from further deterioration, using advanced methodologies.

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