Over the last two decades the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been actively restoring their modest urban heritage.
However, conservation actions are not streamlined within the country and there is no legislation to protect this heritage.
A number of European experts have been invited to carry out studies, but the extent of this involvement has not been
To illustrate this, conservation interventions in specific urban and architectural heritage sites, namely Al Bastakia in
Dubai and Al Merraija in Sharjah, were examined.
First, this paper discusses conservation philosophy, meanings and practices. This is to assist understanding of the
broader conservation issues affecting urban and architectural heritage in the UAE. Then, it presents historical accounts
of architectural and urban heritage practices in Dubai and Sharjah. Finally, conservation approaches implemented over
the last two decades within the two historic sites are compared and evaluated.
Keywords : Conservation, Heritage, Architecture, Urban, UAE.
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