A SHARED RESPONSIBILITY
Safeguarding modern heritage is now required by Abu Dhabi's Cultural Heritage Law (4/2016), which considers all tangible and intangible heritage, irrespective of its age. It is a civic responsibility towards present and future generations.
Modern heritage provides a sense of permanence and continuity. These sites contribute to the live ability of the Emirate and the well-being of its residents by fostering a sense of community through place making and collective memory.
Modern Heritage will contribute to Abu Dhabi's sustainability goals by reducing the carbon footprint resulting from demolition and redevelopment. The initiative can diversify the economy by stimulating alternative real estate investments into reuse and revitalization of the existing built environment.
Protecting and leveraging Abu Dhabi’s modern heritage will contribute to nurturing Abu Dhabi’s aspiration to become a cultural capital.
What are the criteria for registering modern heritage?
A modern heritage site shall be listed on the Register of Modern Heritage of Abu Dhabi if it is culturally significant and satisfies one or more of the following criteria:
• The site is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Abu Dhabi’s history.
• The site is unique, rare, uncommon or contains endangered aspects of Abu Dhabi’s cultural heritage.
• It has the potential to contribute to an understanding of Abu Dhabi’s history.
• It is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular type or period.
• The site is important because of its aesthetic value.
• It demonstrates a high degree of creative or technical achievement during a particular period.
• It has strong or special association with a particular community, locality or cultural group for social or cultural reasons.
• It has special association with the life or works of a person, or group of persons, of importance.
• It exhibits developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design.
How can we safeguard modern heritage?
The first step is to acknowledge, document and celebrate the importance of Abu Dhabi’s architectural and urban heritage.
Investing in regular preventive maintenance and cyclical remedial repairs will prolong the physical fabric of these sites in a more cost-effective way. Rehabilitation or compatible adaptations, sensitive upgrades and additions can ensure the continued use of these sites.
Accepting these sites as assets that add value to new developments and drive revitalization programs is key to guiding sustainable development.