Sharjah Bank Street closes partially

Sharjah Bank Street closes partially

SHARJAH — Bank Street, one of the popular commercial streets in Sharjah, has been temporarily closed partially as part of the work on the Heart of Sharjah project.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Wed 31 Oct 2012, 1:12 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 1:36 PM

Yousif Al Mutawa, Heart of Sharjah Destination Manager, told reporters that the work on the first phase of this landmark project, being undertaken by the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) in cooperation with the Sharjah Department of Public Works and a number of government departments in the emirate, is well on track and construction is now commencing to complete the project south to Al Hisn (Bank Street) and beyond.

One of the prime focuses of the work in this area is an archaeological excavation, being led by Prof Tatsuo Sasaki, Professor Emeritus at the Department of Archaeology, University of Kanazawa, Japan. The excavation is being coordinated between Shurooq, the Sharjah Ruler’s Office, the Directorate of Heritage and the Directorate of Antiquities, and was started after a radar survey of the area showed that extensive remains of the historic core of the city, including its souq lying underneath the tarmac of the Bank Street.

Traffic barricades placed on Bank Street in Sharjah on Tuesday. — KT photo by M Sajjad

The Heart of Sharjah, a five-phase 15-year project, aims to restore and revamp the traditional heritage areas of Sharjah to create a tourist and trade destination with contemporary artistic touches, yet retain the feel of the 1950s and reflect what Sharjah was like over half a century ago.

Scheduled for completion in 2025, the Heart of Sharjah will feature diverse commercial, cultural and residential projects including a boutique hotel, restaurants, retail shops, art galleries, traditional and contemporary markets, archaeological sites, museums, play areas and commercial offices. “Our exploration of this previously largely forgotten part of Sharjah’s history comes under the directives of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, as well as our continued commitment to preserving and protecting the heritage of Sharjah. We are extremely pleased with the progress of the project, and looking forward to starting this significant segment of work on the development. The Heart of Sharjah is without a doubt one of the most ambitious and visionary heritage projects to have ever been attempted in the region and it is enormously gratifying to see our vision steadily taking shape.”

Commenting on the importance of this part of the project, Peter Jackson, Architectural Advisor in the Ruler’s Office, said: “While extensive archaeological excavation and research has taken place throughout the Emirate of Sharjah as well as in the suburbs of the city, none has so far been conducted within the historic core of the city. It is believed that the town dates back at least to the late 16th century, and the object of the work to be carried out between November 1 and May 2013 will be to identify the foundations from earlier periods in the town’s history in an attempt to accurately date Sharjah’s urban history in this location, as well as to ascertain how it has evolved over the centuries.”

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