H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, announced the commencement of a rehabilitation project of the historical Al Fahidi Fort, which is home to the Dubai Museum.
The project is being carried out as part of the vision of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum to promote the fort as a cultural landmark and preserve the emirate’s civilisational and cultural heritage. The project is also in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to preserve historical buildings in the city.
Sheikh Hamdan said, “As one of the country’s historic attractions, Al Fahidi Fort has a special significance in Dubai’s history as it has witnessed key phases of Dubai’s transformation over the past 200 years. Following the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on the preservation of historic buildings, we launched a rehabilitation project for this important monument so that it can continue to serve as a cultural centre in Dubai and an essential component of Dubai’s cultural scene. Our historical assets are our treasures, and we must continue to protect and preserve them for future generations”.
Commenting on the rehabilitation project, H.H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture, said, “Al Fahidi Fort highlights our rich heritage and is a prominent monument that reflects our cultural identity and values. Today, this historical landmark is gaining huge importance as one of the most attractive cultural destinations in the emirate. This monument also holds a prominent place on the cultural tourism map, both locally and internationally, serving as a destination for visitors and tourists from abroad.”
Sheikha Latifa added, “The rehabilitation project aims to take visitors on a journey that gives them a deeper understanding of Emirati history and culture and provide them a unique experience at this landmark site, as part of Dubai’s aspirations to promote greater awareness of its distinctive identity, heritage and traditions.”
Since its inception, Al Fahidi Fort has witnessed different phases of development. The Authority’s mission is to now restore and renew the historical landmark, as part of ensuring cultural and heritage assets are protected in the city. Once complete, the museum will reopen with new enhancements that will provide visitors, citizens, residents, and tourists with a rich and immersive cultural experience and allow them to explore history and its importance for future progress.
Located at the southern end of the Dubai Creek, the Al Fahidi Fort was built in 1787 and served as the headquarters for the ruler of the emirate. It was restored during the reign of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. In 1971, the year when the UAE was founded, Al Fahidi Fort was officially inaugurated as the Dubai Museum and began showcasing the history and heritage of the emirate of Dubai.
The development and expansion of the Fort continued, and in 1995, the second section of the museum located under the fort was opened, which contains exhibits and collections from the period before the discovery of oil as well as antiquities that were found in Dubai’s archaeological sites.
Al Fahidi Fort welcomed around 1.5 million visitors in 2019, bringing the total number of visitors to the museum since its inauguration to almost 17 million visitors from across the world.
The rehabilitation project of Al Fahidi Fort comes as part of the second phase of the redevelopment and revitalization of the Dubai Historical District, a joint project between the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Dubai Municipality and the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, which aims to preserve the emirate’s rich history and heritage and situate the district as vibrant cultural hub for visitors.
As part of the rehabilitation plan, Dubai Culture has announced that Al Fahidi Fort will be temporarily closed due to the renovation work.