Dubai, United Arab Emirates, January 13, 2020: The Revitalisation of Muharraq, a series of restoration and reuse projects that highlight the World Heritage site's pearling history, was celebrated today at a ceremony under the presence and patronage of H.E. Sheikh Khaled Bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain; H.E. Sheikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, and Farrokh Derakhshani, Director of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. The event was held at the Pearling Path Visitors Centre in Muharraq.
Initiated as a series of restoration and adaptive reuse sites, the project evolved into a comprehensive programme that aimed to re-balance the city's demographic makeup by creating public spaces, providing community and cultural venues, and improving the overall environment. Eventually known as the “Pearling Path”, it sought to entice local families back through improvements to the environment and the provision of community and cultural venues.
The pearling industry was historically crucial to Bahrain's economy, with the former capital Muharraq as its global centre. The project highlights that history by preserving a number of sites and numerous buildings, from humble divers' houses to prestigious courtyard residences. All are connected through a visitor pathway, with vacant plots landscaped as public spaces.