DCT Abu Dhabi to organise workshops to discuss integrating Al Ain’s heritage sites in the development of the city
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is organising a two-day workshop to discuss how Al Ain can integrate its unique heritage sites into its urban landscape.
The workshops in Al Ain, which will take place on 4th and 5th February, will examine applying the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach to Al Ain and its unique heritage sites. The workshops will discuss using HUL methodological guidelines in the city’s ongoing urban planning initiatives, as suggested by the Al Ain World Heritage Sites Management Plan, recently submitted by DCT Abu Dhabi.
HUL was devised by UNESCO to find a solution to the conflict between conservation and development in historic cities. DCT Abu Dhabi is proposing to adopt this HUL approach to urban planning to support the goals of two strategic plans: the UAE Vision 2021, especially the goal of achieving a cohesive society preserving its identity; and the Al Ain 2030 plan, in its aim to characterise Al Ain as an Oasis City.
“Al Ain has some of the most prized and unique tourist attractions in the region and the world and so we must all work to preserve them for the current and future generations to appreciate and enjoy,” Abdul Rahman Rashed Al Nuaimi, World Heritage Sites section manager at DCT Abu Dhabi said. “It is part of our mandate to preserve culture and heritage and by hearing from esteemed international experts at this workshop we hope to utilise their experience to achieve our aims.”
As well as representative from various sectors of DCT Abu Dhabi, other entities who will attend include the Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities, Al Ain Municipality, Abu Dhabi Environment Agency, Department of Transport, Diwan and Crown Prince Court, and the Ministry of Culture and knowledge Development
Also attending will be representatives of the Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) and three cities where the HUL approach has already been implemented; Ballarat in Australia, Bordeaux in France, and Edinburgh in Scotland.
The speakers and guests are part of the UNESCO team of experts who contributed to the formulation and implementation of the HUL approach. They include Patricia O’Donnell, Head of Heritage Landscapes LLC, Jad Tabet, UNESCO expert in urban planning, Daniele Pini, professor Emeritus of Urban Planning at University of Ferrara, , Matthias Ripp, representing the Organization of World Heritage Cities, Anne Laure Moniot Head of the Bordeaux Architecture and Urban Planning project, Susan Fayad of the City of Ballarat, and co-author of the HUL Guidebook, Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage and Krzysztof Chuchra, Head of International Relations at Edinburgh World Heritage.
In addition, speakers from the organising team at DCT Abu Dhabi will participate in the workshop including Abdul Rahman Rashed Al Nuaimi, World Heritage Sites Section Manager, Hadi Saliba, Consultant and Senior Expert in World Heritage Urban Conservation, and Gaetano Palumbo, Specialist and Consultant in Site Management Plans.
The World Heritage Sites of Al Ain include 17 historic and archaeological sites in four areas: the Oases, Bida Bint Saud, Hili, and Jebel Hafeet.