As with many historical sites in the Gulf region, urban regeneration of the Old Town District of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates (UAE) presents a challenge in maintaining the balance between preservation and refurbishment. This policy paper aims to highlight and convey the significance of the Old Town District as a historical and cultural site to policy makers in the emirate. In doing so, it outlines the District’s potential for becoming an agent for the development of Ras Al Khaimah through an urban regeneration project.
The paper begins with a brief historical overview of Ras Al Khaimah and the urban development of the Old Town District. It then goes on to discuss the opportunities offered by the area. A description of the District’s building materials and urban morphology is also discussed. The paper concludes with a list of recommendations for the urban regeneration of Old Town. The author conducted fieldwork and collected data for this paper between 2009 and 2011 as part of two courses for her bachelors and masters degrees at the American University of Sharjah.