DOCUMENTATION AND MONITORING OF BUILT HERITAGE IN ABU DHABI, UAE
Keywords: Documentation, monitoring, condition mapping, measured surveys
Abstract. The ancient oasis-city of Al Ain in Abu Dhabi Emirate still retains the most important and outstanding cultural heritage of United Arab Emirates (UAE). The larger area of Abu Dhabi Emirate comprised of archaeological sites, cultural landscapes and historic buildings dating back to 3rd millennium to the recent pre-oil era. Traditional materials like stone, earth and palm wood were used in combination with local construction methods. For the last seven years the newly formed Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi)1 has been actively involved in conservation of built heritage in Abu Dhabi Emirate with the help of its Conservation Section.
Documentation prior to any conservation and restoration works is considered as a basic pre-requisite for understanding an historic building or site. It is a process which continues during the conservation of any monument and is the only accurate tool for recording information in order to understand the structure, ultimately leading to the management of cultural heritage. Application and use of tools, ranging from basic manual techniques to 3D laser scanning, based on the best practices and international guidelines the exercise will help in establishing a documentation lab with standard procedures, specifications and tools for the documentation and monitoring the built heritage of Abu Dhabi Emirate.
This paper will discuss a range of case studies and will demonstrate how documentation and monitoring of the built heritage has augmented the various conservation initiatives on a variety of building types.