Integrating the traditional Emirati community within urban fabric of the city to enhance the historical identity

Inshirah Shublaq, Abeer Abu Raed*, Tamarah Alqalami, Esraa Altwassi, Rafael Pizarro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


The site of Al Ain Civic Centre consists of major vacant lands and scattered development. This site is facing many issues such as car dependency, disconnectivity, low-density development, poor quality of life, and lost identity. Even though Al Ain city is well known for its green and open spaces, yet still such spaces cannot serve this site efficiently. This is because of the poor connectivity among open spaces and oases in Al Ain. One of the suggestions is to provide major connectivity plans and functional open spaces to solve such a situation and revitalize the area as a requirement made by Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. This is achieved through the demonstration of green fingers in a way that collects/integrates the site as a whole with the surroundings. As a result, introducing green fingers is part of planned solutions as well as a requirement by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council. Another issue is the major breakage that is represented by Al Slimi wadi. This wadi is known for its transverse site as well as its disconnected pedestrian walkways. Hence, connecting the two areas by a pedestrian bridge is one of the solutions presented in this research. More importantly, the site is considered to handle a neighborhood development with a challenge that aims to preserve, maintain, and protect the traditional Emirati housing. This kind of housing was demonstrated in Fareej form with all its required elements such as courtyard houses, Sikkas, barahas, and maidan. The project turned out to represent a master-planned community. The site claims to work as a zero-car neighborhood, with allocated accesses that lead to a parking space and a golf cart rental station. In conclusion, this neighborhood site plan/the design of this neighborhood can provide an efficiently designed urban plan that is highly walkable, friendly, accessible, and simultaneously protects the environment for its users. The concepts of connectivity and proximity are applied successfully while maintaining the heritage side and Identity of Al Ain.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere08650
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Green fingers
  • Heritage
  • UAE
  • Urban development


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