Old Deira, Dubai: The Role of Culture, Identity and Planning in a Global City

This abstract has open access
Abstract Summary
This research project will explore the relationship between planning strategies and multi-culturalism in Old Deira, Dubai. Now an established global city that is firmly integrated in the world economy, Dubai is a salient case study to scrutinise the role of cultural diversity in the growth of this (mini) mega-city. Dubai is a strategic trade and logistics hub by virtue of its geographical location – a place where East meets West. Since the 1970s the Emirate has been very accommodating to immigrant labour, mostly from East Asia, to develop a country where locals, at around 15% of the population, are a minority. Parts of Dubai have evolved to the point where the eminent culture is far removed from the Emirati lifestyle. The best example is Old Deira, a genuine melting pot of ethnic, religious and social backgrounds. This study will focus on the area between Al Ras, Al Murar and Al Rigga. This district borders on the Dubai Creek and includes the old Gold Souk and the Spice Market. It is modern cross-roads of cultures, where people of Filipino, Indian, Pakistani, Iranian, Central Asian, Chinese and European origin live, work and play in close proximity. What planning strategies, if any, have shaped the multi-cultural identity of Old Deira, and, based on these findings, how can urban planners apply them in other global cities to promote diverse and multi-cultural neighbourhoods? An initial desk study will be conducted, followed by a site visit to Dubai in late May/early June. Spatial and GIS data (where available) will be used and complemented by primary data in the form of interviews and stakeholder engagement. Depending on availability, this will consist of local businesses, community groups and government authorities. The objective of this research is to highlight and discuss which planning mechanisms, such as strategic planning policies or zoning regulations, have enabled the development of this multi-cultural neighbourhood. In other words, the findings will illustrate if and how specific planning tools have caused certain outcomes. Through a presentation and paper, this research will start with a brief review of the history of Old Deira, tracing its evolution from a small port to a node of international commerce. Referencing the works of P. Hall and J. Nasr (particularly the former’s Cities of Tomorrow and the latter’s Urbanism: Imported or Exported?), this report will analyse and situate the growth of the district within wider urban theory. Part of this study will cover Dubai’s socio-political and religious context as well as the immigration restrictions that apply to foreign workers. Drawing on the wealth of academic work on culture and planning (S. Fanstein, P. Lysiottis and Booth et al., among others), this research will then examine the planning strategies, policy and spatial frameworks that have shaped the multi-cultural development of Old Deira. It will also investigate the strategies that are shaping the future of Old Deira, such as the Dubai 2020 Urban Master Plan. Finally, what works in Dubai may not work in Shanghai - this research will assess the transferability of these strategies for other global cities.
Abstract ID :
ISO497
Submission Type
Full paper :
If the file does not load, click here to open/download the file.
Graduate Urban Planner
,
AECOM

Similar Abstracts by Type

Abstract ID
Abstract Title
Abstract Topic
Submission Type
Primary Author
ISO480
2: Beside the megacity and the role of other cities and areas: planning for balance
Full Paper
Prof Teresa Marat-Mendes
ISO262
2: Beside the megacity and the role of other cities and areas: planning for balance
Full Paper
Mr David Green
ISO564
4: Knowledge economies and identity: planning for culture
Full Paper
Citra Persada
ISO88695
3: Liveable places and healthy cities: planning for people
Full Paper
Miss Mahak Agrawal
ISO400
2: Beside the megacity and the role of other cities and areas: planning for balance
Full Paper
Ding Shi
ISO487
2: Beside the megacity and the role of other cities and areas: planning for balance
Full Paper
OLUWABUKOLA SOMOYE
ISO408
2: Beside the megacity and the role of other cities and areas: planning for balance
Full Paper
Dr Muhammed Ziya Paköz
ISO374
4: Knowledge economies and identity: planning for culture
Full Paper
Bo Bian
ISO116
3: Liveable places and healthy cities: planning for people
Full Paper
Miss Hang Sui