The paper discusses current trends and future developments in the study of people-urban environment relations, with
an emphasis on the concept of diversity within the Gulf cities. This is explored in relation to: theoretical approaches,
urban public spaces, people's lifestyles, social groups and inclusive urban environments. Contemporary Gulf cities are
providing unique examples for research on urban diversity.Its demographic structure is distinctive for a minimum of 50%
expatriates in overall population. Gulf cities are obliged to cope with such a compelling fact. The challenge is to move
away from indifference and bring about better acceptance of others. On the relationship; city spaces and culture, the
paper argues that traditional markets must be envisioned as spaces for cultural expressions. Traditional markets are a
rich display of products and talents and a great opportunity to share and meet with people from same culture and others.
Using comparative analysis approach juxtapositioning the selected cases, the paper confronts questions like what
does Gulf urban diversity mean in the present. In addition, is diversity in urban spaces only a challenge to be dealt with
or is there also economic potential that can be taken advantage of? How do we ensure that Gulf cities are indeed
spaces of tolerance? How to give visibility to the spaces of marginalized groups, as these spaces are often ignored or
worse, eliminated? How to preserve or regain spaces in the city for the expression of traditional cultures of those migrating
from other regions or countries? The paper explores the socioeconomic and cultural mechanisms that can encourage
inclusive pluralism in the Gulf cities’ open spaces.
Keywords : : Urban diversity, public spaces, traditional markets - souqs, multi-culture gulf cities, heritage revivalism.
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