Sharjah Ruler approves Dh61 million compensation to property owners affected by Khorfakkan Wall project

In 2018, Dr Sheikh Sultan ordered the reconstruction of this historical landmark, to serve as an icon for the city



By WAM

Published: Mon 23 Jan 2023, 9:25 PM

Last updated: Tue 24 Jan 2023, 8:15 AM

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, on Monday approved an amount of Dh61 million to compensate property owners who were affected by the ‘Khorfakkan Wall’ restoration and maintenance works project.

Sheikh Sultan also approved the new names for some suburbs in Khorfakkan, including the Al Owayin suburb.

This was announced on the Direct Line programme on Sharjah Radio and Television, explaining that the compensation would target 35 affected plots of land.

The restoration project

The Sharjah Planning and Survey Department in 2019 has restored key historic landmarks and areas of the city of Khorfakkan and surrounding regions, upon the directives of the Ruler.

Sheikh Sultan prioritised the urban heritage of Sharjah’s cities, and has researched historic documents on key historic landmarks in Khorfakkan. He had also ordered the restoration of the city, which is an icon of originality in the emirate.

The department began its work based on historical information which highlighted the presence of the demolished wall of the Khorfakkan Fort, the Al Adwani Tower and other historic landmarks.

The authority had discovered old photos and plans of these landmarks, and formed specialist working teams to gather available historical information from elderly people who witnessed these landmarks before their destruction.

Khorfakkan Fort was built in the 1940s from stone to the rocky nature of Khorfakkan. It first consisted of a single square with temporary walls, and another square was added facing the sea that was higher than the previous wall to reinforce its defences. The fort’s walls face all four directions, overlooking Al Adwani Tower and Al Rabi Tower.

Khorfakkan Fort's purpose

During the 1960s, the fort was rebuilt to serve as a government building, and the residents called it the "Citadel," which housed all government departments, including the postal, electricity and water departments. During this period, a majlis was added to the fort facing the sea to receive guests. A mast was then placed in front of it, and a cannon was installed in its front yard. The fort became an area where people gathered.

Due to the city’s urban expansion, the fort was demolished in 1985. In 2018, Sheikh Sultan ordered the reconstruction of this historical landmark, to serve as an icon for the city. The department researched photos, documents and historical maps to locate the location of the fort, and it hosted a Japanese archaeological excavation mission after it signed an MoU with the Sharjah Antiquities Authority. The mission found some antiquities in the area.

The Al Adwani Tower The Al Adwani Towers is located on a mountain peak overlooking the historical Khorfakkan Port, and is unique in the Gulf region due to its structure and because it was used as a lighthouse for ships. The tower, which was built in the 15th century, remained standing until 1985, when it was destroyed along with the mountain.

Sheikh Sultan ordered the reconstruction of the tower, and the major challenge of the reconstruction project was to find its original location. Therefore, the department aimed to accurately locate the mountain, by looking at old maps of the region and demolished buildings in the area, to find the tower’s unique location.

The Khorfakkan Wall witnessed the courage and heroism of the residents when facing a Portuguese invasion. The historic wall was eventually demolished, but it remained in the stories of travellers, invaders and residents of the region.

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