Aiming to retain the feel of the 1950s in Sharjah’s traditional
areas, the largest heritage project in the UAE and Gulf region,
the ‘Heart of Sharjah’ is currently in progress aiming to create
the first development of its kind.
The five-phase, 15-year historical restoration project which aims
to restore and revamp the traditional heritage areas of Sharjah,
is scheduled for completion in 2025, Gulf News reported.
project plans to feature diverse commercial, cultural and
It also aims to create tourist and trade
destinations, including a boutique hotel, restaurants, retail
shops, art galleries, traditional and contemporary markets,
archaeological sites, museums, play areas, and commercial offices
which will be placed in renovated old or ancient houses.
heritage project is being undertaken by the Sharjah Investment and
Development Authority (Shurooq) in cooperation with the Sharjah
Department of Public Works and a number of government bodies and
departments in the Emirate.
“Executing a project of this scope
would be impossible if not for the cooperation of stakeholders
across the full spectrum of conservation, heritage, and
development,” said Shurooq CEO Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal, who
highlighted the Sharjah Department of Culture’s continuous efforts
throughout the project.
Starting its renovations in 2010, the project’s first out of five
phases is near completion.
As part of phase 1, the foundation
works of the Al Hisn Fort, Al Midfa Houses, and Al Tawaweesh House
have been checked and evaluated for plans to add an upper floor to
The design and layout of the buildings is currently
under study. The chipping process has also been completed and the
construction team is currently working to repair the façade. Works
were also carried out in October 2012 on Bank Street, the first
modern commercial street in Sharjah constructed in the late 1970s.
The project was launched after a non-intrusive ground radar survey
of the area showed extensive remains of the historic core of the
city, including its souq, which lay underneath the tarmac of Bank
Works included a full archaeological excavation, led by Tatsuo
Sasaki, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Archaeology,
University of Kanazawa, Japan and coordinated between Shurooq, the
Sharjah Ruler’s Office, the Directorate of Heritage, and the
Directorate of Antiquities.
“It is believed that the town dates
back at least to the late 16th century, and the object of the work
to be carried out between November 1 and May 2013 will be to
identify the foundations from earlier periods in the town’s
history in an attempt to accurately date Sharjah’s urban history
in this location, as well as to ascertain how it has evolved over
the centuries,” said Peter Jackson, Architectural Adviser in the
Situated just five minutes from the city’s Corniche and 10 minutes from Sharjah International Airport, the
heritage project which aims to safeguard the emirate’s national
historical character aims to complete phase 1 by 2015.