Abu Dhabi to install plaques at historic landmarks

Dozens of sites around the capital will be registered on the Historic Environment Record

The first plaque was installed on the facade of the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation on Thursday. Photo: Abu Dhabi Media Office
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More than 60 plaques will be installed at landmarks across Abu Dhabi to mark their status as modern heritage sites.

Each of the landmarks, most of which date from the 1970s and 1980s, will be registered on Abu Dhabi's Historic Environment Record.

The first plaque was installed this week on the facade of the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation, the first structure to be designated as a modern heritage site.

The announcement was made by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi during a ceremony at the site on Thursday.

“The iconic buildings recognised as modern heritage sites are integral to Abu Dhabi's cultural fabric, reflecting our rich heritage and evolution,” said Mohamed Al Mubarak, chairman of the DCT Abu Dhabi.

“Therefore, it is our mission to safeguard and promote these landmarks and we commemorate the first step in our journey as we highlight and protect Abu Dhabi's modern heritage sites for future generations.”

The Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation was founded in 1981 and is set on the capital's oldest historical site, Qasr Al Hosn.

The site offers numerous workshops, events and classes, including one on traditional Arabic calligraphy.

Last year the DCT announced that it had identified 64 buildings and sites that required “immediate and unconditional protection” as part of its initiative to safeguard Abu Dhabi's heritage.

The department's Modern Heritage Conservation Initiative prioritises maintaining and rehabilitating the buildings according to their designated grade. No demolition applications are allowed.

These buildings include Al Manhal Palace, where the UAE flag was raised after the country joined the UN in 1971, the old Adnoc headquarters, the Central Bank, Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce, Zayed Sports City, and the city's main bus terminal.

The list also included less familiar places, including parks, water tanks, a health complex, one of the early residential towers and even a cluster of ghaf trees in the city.

Some of Abu Dhabi's 64 protected buildings – in pictures

Updated: February 01, 2024, 3:08 PM