Dubai /Overview of the change of residential areas in urban scale
The city of Dubai has changed rapidly within less than a century, it was once a small coastal village living on fishing activities and transformed into a metropolitan nowadays. Before the start of oil exploration, people rely on small-scale trading activities. As the activities relied on the river transportation, the original city developed around the Dubai Creek. It is divided into 3 zones, Deira as the commercial centre, Bur Dubai as the government centre, and Al Shindagha as the main residential area.
Before 1960, the population of Dubai is at around 90,000. Since Dubai lies directly within the Arabian Desert, taking the dry and hot climate into account, the settlement of people is in a low density. People lived in wind tower to adapt to the windy climate. From the photos taken in 1960 shown above, it shows that settlements actually scattered around the creek
These settlements are found along Dubai Creek, Al Bastakyia is one of the oldest village found in Dubai. These original wind towers have been preserved, where up to 55 homes were found. In 1960, the Dubai government invited a British Architect John Harris to outline the master plan for Dubai. Introducing the road system, facilities and infrastructure, the city began to expand and more settlements were found in the inland area.
From 1999 onwards, the first high rise building is being constructed in Dubai and was extensively constructed in Dubai. There is also a change in the cityscape of Dubai, as the high rise building began to block and hide the low-rise wind tower. During 2001, we can also see that housing is also expanded to the artificial island areas.
Looking back ten years later from the first appearance of the city, the population was close to 2.4 million. For the coming Dubai 2020 Master Plan, it is envisioned that the emirate could be home to 3.4 million people. From the approach of urban planning, there is also an approach in densifying the central parts of Dubai so as to solve the problem of remote cities where the communities lack connections. However, this also raises the concern of further diminishing the vernacular architecture.There are multiple self-sufficient communities in Dubai, including Arabian Ranches, Al Maktoum City and Jumeirah Village Circle. However, for the Dubai 2020 Master Plan the priority in designing the city is to develop central parts before sprawling horizontally.
From this overview, we could understand the urban development of Dubai at different times. In many countries, the city starts along the river where there are more resources and treated as transportation for trading. With the introduction of the road system by John Harris, it is allowed to expand the city inland. With the technological improvement, taller buildings are also able to be constructed. However, this also creates the downfall of disappearance in the original cityscape.
Golzari, Nasser. Architecture and Globalisation in the Persian Gulf Region. S.l.: Routledge, 2016
Bohle, Hendrik, Jan Dimog, and Clarice Knowles. Architectural guide United Arab Emirates. Berlin: DOM Publishers, 2016.