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DCT-Abu Dhabi’s Modern Heritage Initiative

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi’s (DCT-Abu Dhabi) Modern Heritage initiative is helping to preserve 64 buildings and sites that contribute to Abu Dhabi’s cultural identity through their architectural, historical, societal or scientific significance, protecting them for future generations.

The Modern Heritage Conservation Initiative

As part of its Modern Heritage Conservation Initiative, the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) identifies, safeguards, and maintains sites that narrate the Emirate’s more recent past. This falls in line with the Cultural Heritage Law decreed in 2016 by Abu Dhabi, which recognises the inclusion of modern heritage along with archaeological sites and historic buildings as part of its cultural heritage.

Protection of 64 Modern Heritage Sites

DCT – Abu Dhabi has revealed the first set of 64 modern heritage sites, requiring immediate and unconditional protection. No demolition applications will be allowed for these buildings, instead, priority will be given for them to be maintained and rehabilitated in accordance with their designated grade.

Preserving Abu Dhabi’s Culture and Identity

His Excellency Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Part of DCT Abu Dhabi’s mission includes preserving Abu Dhabi’s culture and identity. Our architectural and urban heritage is an extremely important element of our recent history, which deserves to be recognised and protected.”

DMT’s Involvement in the Initiative

His Excellency Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Department of Municipalities and Transport said: “The Modern Heritage Conservation initiative plays a crucial role in maintaining the city’s public appearance, identity, and its urban cultural heritage. The partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi reflects DMT’s commitment to developing smart and sustainable cities, while preserving the city’s identity, thereby enriching the quality of life and visitors’ experience in Abu Dhabi.

Examples of Modern Heritage Sites

By taking a closer look at all 64 structures, it is evident that they collectively stand witness to the emirate’s history as it has grown over the years. The list is a representation of diverse types of buildings – a hospital, a theatre, a school, mosques, parks, hotels, markets, and commercial buildings among many others.

Continued Survey for Protection and Conservation

Abu Dhabi’s Modern Heritage Conservation Initiative aims to identify and protect modern heritage sites in the city. As part of this initiative, DCT Abu Dhabi has surveyed the city’s built environment and identified a total of 65 modern heritage sites. These sites have been formally registered for protection and conservation. The list of these sites is as follows:

  1. Cultural Foundation
  2. Abu Dhabi Bus Terminal and Taxi Stand
  3. Al Manhal Palace
  4. Zayed bin Sultan The Second Mosque
  5. The National Theatre
  6. Former Al Jazeera Hospital
  7. Sheikh Zayed Sports City
  8. Islamic Institute Complex (Former UAEU)
  9. Niqa Bin Ateej Water Tank and Park
  10. Radisson Blu Al Ain (Hilton Al Ain)
  11. Al Jahili Eid Prayer Grounds
  12. Al Khalidiyah Park
  13. Al Ain Old Central Market
  14. Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Tower
  15. Al Bateen Mall
  16. Intercontinental Hotel – Abu Dhabi
  17. Radisson Blu – Abu Dhabi (Hilton Abu Dhabi)
  18. Hili Old Market (Shaabi Market)
  19. Zayed Al Awwal Secondary School – Oud Al Hassa
  20. Former ADNOC Headquarters
  21. Al Maqta Conservation Area
  22. Former Vehicles & Drivers Licensing Directorate
  23. Bida’ Zayed Central Souq
  24. Arab Monetary Fund Building
  25. Etisalat Headquarter – Abu Dhabi
  26. Federal National Council
  27. Saeed Al Kalili (Al Ibrahimi Building)
  28. Heirs of Salem Khadem Al Qubaisi Building
  29. HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Tower (Blue Tower – Union National Bank)
  30. Hamed Center
  31. Hamdan Centre
  32. Obaid Al Mazrouai
  33. Butti Al Otaiba Building
  34. Harib Tower
  35. Sheraton Hotel
  36. Le Méridien Hotel
  37. Al Ghaf Tree Park
  38. Airport Road Park
  39. Armed Forces Officers Club & Conference Centre
  40. Al Omeirah Building (Adidas)
  41. Al Hobbara Water Tank (SBY Island)
  42. Bida’ Zayed Pool
  43. Liwa Rest House
  44. Remah Rest House complex
  45. Salman Khalifa Al Mazroei
  46. Otaiba Building
  47. Mesaied Khalid Al Mansoori
  48. The Central Bank of the UAE
  49. Al Ain Vegetable & Fish Market (Shibrat Al Ain)
  50. City Terminal (Abu Dhabi International Airport)
  51. Abu Dhabi City Municipality Building
  52. Department of Economic Development
  53. Department of Finance
  54. Abu Dhabi Media Company
  55. Abu Dhabi Oil Co. – Japan (ADOC)
  56. Al Manhal Family Medicine Clinic
  57. Al Zaab Old Fire Station
  58. Khalifa Al Suweidi Building
  59. Elenco Building
  60. Former Al Dhafra Region Municipality Building
  61. Madinat Zayed Vegetable, Meat & Fish Market – Abu Dhabi
  62. Abu Yalee Mosque
  63. Al Ain Old Gold Souk
  64. Al Nyadat Eid Musalla.

The Modern Heritage Conservation Initiative in Abu Dhabi is an important step towards preserving the city’s modern heritage sites for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. The registration and protection of these sites will ensure that they are maintained and celebrated as important parts of the city’s history and culture.

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