ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE IN DUBAI: RENEWAL AND CONTEMPORANEITY
Free (open access)
221 - 231
SARAH KHALIL ELMASRY
Throughout history, Islamic architecture has been in a continuous process of synthesis. As Islam spread across lands, architecture adapted to specific functions required by the then-new religion, and its teachings. On the other hand, countries which accepted Islam as a religion, were able to impose their culture and history on what we call today “Islamic Architecture”, making it one of the most diverse architectural movements in history. However, architecture of Muslim communities affected by colonization, then globalization has been struggling to uphold its identity. In addition, there has been strong, one-directional calls by historians and orientalists to strictly preserve known past Islamic elements and styles, which hindered the contemporaneity of today’s Islamic architecture. Through analysis of a number of architectural movements in the city of Dubai, one of the youngest, most rapidly growing cities in the world, this paper argues that Islamic architecture still holds the capacity to adapt, absorb and blend in a continuous process of synthesis and renewal despite globalization sweeping today’s Muslim communities. Not only has this been a historic trend, but also a necessity for those communities to be able to uphold their identity and thrive in a globalized world. Dubai is a living example of this adaptation. Through all four forms of resistance as defined by Hobbs: modernization, heritagization, hybridization and bioclimatic hybridization, architecture of the city demonstrates how Islamic architecture today is still able to survive through adaptation, not only through preservation.
architecture, Dubai, environmental performance, heritagization, hybridization, Islamic architecture, Islamic identity, modernization, Muslim cities