Dubai's oldest neighbourhood is to undergo regeneration to attract residents, visitors, creatives and start-ups to the area.
Al Fahidi district dates back to the 19th century and was at the city's heart as it grew from a sleepy fishing village to a global metropolis. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, was born in nearby Shindagha.
"We seek to turn it into a leading cultural destination that highlights our nation’s authentic architectural and urban heritage," Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, said on Sunday.
Sheikh Hamdan approved a broader project that seeks to make the city's walls and streets an "open art gallery".
With the regeneration project, the government wants to create a "platform for young people to showcase their creative talent and start-up companies in the cultural sector to showcase their offerings".
"It also aims to rehabilitate the neighbourhood’s facilities and infrastructure as well as improve its general appearance," Dubai Media Office said.
Al Fahidi, on the Bur Dubai side of Dubai Creek, is home to museums, coffee shops and textile souqs. The famous gold and spice souqs are on the Deira side, a Dh1 boat journey across the creek.
The district is already home to several street-art projects, with the walls of its old buildings turned into canvasses for artists.
Further down the river another area, Al Seef, has undergone extensive modernisation after a long period of closure.