Knowledge Transmission Among Preservation Practitioners in Dubai


  • Adil M. Abdalla


The economic importance and strategic position of the
Middle East have epistemologically twisted most of its
true cultural recognition. Both late urban definition and
mutual communications have crippled some of its Bedouin
societies from proving their participation in global
culture. Each society has some to share in human accumulative
know-how, but geo-political environments and
barriers have lots to do in such mutuality. Many investigations
have proved effective transmission of knowledge,
but also pointed out black and mysterious zones within
the societies themselves. The main obstacle is generated
from the oral Arabic culture itself, when episteme is conditioned
with biological memory, synchronized interchange
and ethical referrals.

The necessity of scientific and standard approaches of archeological
research and architectural preservation exist
and is proven to be of value in preservation of architectural
knowledge. However, it is distinctly a hard task to
use such standards to challenge the fast urbanization and
social developments of our time.

While archeological research is apart from contemporary
explanations, preservation research is proposed as being
more important. Investigations on building concepts
require in-depth analysis of habits and behaviors of both
craftsmen and beneficiaries, which is a folkloric approach.
The lack of linguistic research blocks sufficient use of traditional
poetry, literature and folklore to reproduce evidence
of technologies from the past. Obviously, the limited
natural resources in the Arabian Peninsula have simplified
both the architectural setting and construction methodologies
and hidden the natural creativity or know-how of earlier
societies. Unique architectural contributions need not
be limited to definitions of monumental constructs or other
impressive achievements. Rather, architecture is defined
mainly by cultural and epistemological expressions. This
is important in discovering the continuity and distribution
of societies in human and global civilization. It is also important
to include Middle Eastern architecture in the ongoing
intensive identification of architectural perspectives.

Despite the late attention that has been given to preservation
activities in Arabic States in the Persian Gulf, it is
time to start assessment and evaluation of architectural
traditions to challenge the remarkably fast development
that is occurring. Various organizational, social and political
factors are involved in the few serious attempts that
have been made. Interventions by ambitious ruling powers
have alternatively supported or thwarted such efforts.
Lessons can be learned from these examples that highlight
effective approaches useful in maintaining the immovable
heritage elements in underdeveloped countries.
These elements contain most of the remaining important
and creative features of human architectural inputs that
now benefit most of the globe. International involvement
may be drawn to fill scientific gaps and requirements,
while paths for serious cooperation are blocked with either
hesitation or insufficient awareness of the matter.

Bridging the true knowledge needs not only willingness,
but also serious identification of both obvious and unconscious
motivations that rule decision-making and practice.
The conclusions may support the ongoing development of
methodologies and professional practices.




How to Cite

Abdalla, A. M. (2005). Knowledge Transmission Among Preservation Practitioners in Dubai. Ethnobotany Research and Applications, 3, 123–126. Retrieved from