The Deira Clocktower, that iconic symbol of ‘old Dubai’ is getting a fresh new look. Before you get up in arms about one of Dubai’s age-old constants changing, let us reassure you. The structure won’t be knocked down and its original facade will remain.
According to the statement issued by the Dubai Municipality on May 13, the Deira Clocktower’s updates will involve adding hard floors to the roundabout it’s built on as well as the addition of some greenery and multicoloured lighting.
It’s a merely cosmetic makeover that involves no structural changes to the historical landmark’s retro architecture. Syrian architect Zaki Al Hosmi’s original design of the clock tower with its spindly arches and four dials will only be enhanced.
The Deira Clocktower redevelopment project is in line with Dubai’s 2040 Urban Master Plan. As part of it, a number of architectural landmarks and historic monuments around the city will be spruced up.
The three-month-long redevelopment will also see the fountain at the roundabout get revamped. Will it hinder traffic at the intersection of Umm Hurair Street and Al Maktoum Street? Only time will tell!
Why is the Deira Clocktower such a big deal?
Constructed in 1963, the Deira Clocktower is the landmark that symbolised the emirate of Dubai long before the Burjs (both Burj Khalifa and Burj Al Arab), appearing on postage stamps as early as 1974. Back in the day, the Deira Clocktower was the first landmark that welcomed visitors who arrived via boats and even Dubai International Airport. Before the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Road was rolled out, the clocktower marked the main junction of highways leading into Dubai.
In fact, it was named one of the 17 most beautiful clocktowers in the world by the British newspaper ‘The Telegraph’.
Fair to say this clock has stood the test of time and how!