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Salalah al-Wusta & Gharbiya: Dhofar Governorate

Salalah al-Wusta & Gharbiya: Dhofar Governorate

Salim M. almahruqi Undersecretary for Heritage Affairs

MINISTRY OF HERITAGE SULTANATE OF OMAN COMMITTEE FOR THE REGISTRATION HISTORIC BUILDING CLUSTERS

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LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY

Salalah: Dhofar Governorate

This Heritage Management Plan contains a complete vision for the sustainable redevelopment and revitalization for the settlements of al-Wusta and Gharbiya in Salalah, Dhofar Governorate. Extensive fieldwork campaigns, detailed documentation and analysis of the built environment, as well as in-depth study of historical sources and anthropological data, have been brought together to provide a high-quality multidisciplinary examination of the settlement’s past, present and possible future. Drawing on previous experience and cooperation between the Ministry of Heritage and Culture and Liverpool University, this study is to set the potential for future public-private partnerships in the field of heritage management.

CULTURE

PROTECTION

MINISTRY OF HERITAGE SULTANATE OF OMAN

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COMMITTEE FOR THE REGISTRATION OF HISTORIC BUILDING CLUSTERS

LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY

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CULTURE

PROTECTION


Commissioned by MINISTRY OF HERITAGE AND CULTURE SULTANATE OF OMAN COMMITTEE FOR THE REGISTRATION AND PROTECTION OF HISTORIC BUILDING CLUSTERS

Developed by LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF ARCHITECTURE AND CULTURAL HERITAGE OF INDIA, ARABIA AND THE MAGHREB

Salalah al-Wusta & Gharbiya: Dhofar Governorate


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Salalah Al Wusta & Gharbiya - Heritage Management and Development Plan

Š Ministry of Heritage and Culture, Sultanate of Oman 2016 All rights reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the copyright holder.


Research Team 3

RESEARCH TEAM PROF. SOUMYEN BANDYOPADHYAY Principal Investigator and Project Director (Currently at University of Liverpool) DR. GIAMILA QUATTRONE Research Fellow and Project Coordinator (Currently University of Liverpool) DR. MARTIN S. GOFFRILLER Research Fellow and Project Member (Currently at University of Liverpool) DR. HAITHAM AL-ΚABRĪ Associate Researcher DÉSIRÉE CAMPOLO Research Assistant (Currently University of Liverpool) CLAUDIA BRIGUGLIO Research Assistant (Currently University of Liverpool) KONSTANTINA GEORGIADOU Research Assistant (Currently University of Liverpool)

ASSOCIATE RESEARCHERS MUSSALAM AL-MASHANI Fieldwork assistance & Ethnographic Research

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Salalah Al Wusta & Gharbiya - Heritage Management and Development Plan

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION

3.3 The old residential quarters of Salalah

1.1 Location

3.4 Construction Techniques

1.2 Master Plan Goals

3.5 Typological distinctions 3.6 Significance & threats

2 RECONNAISSANCE AND FIELDWORK IN SALALAH

3.7 Drawn analysis

2.1 Introduction 2.2 Preparatory work

4 FAILURES AND STATE OF PRESERVATION

2.3 Reconnaissance

4.1 State of preservation and failure analysis

2.4 Fieldwork in Salalah

4.2 Guiding principles to conservation and rehabilitation

2.5 Community outreach

4.3 Guiding principles to repair actions

2.6 Challenges Encountered during fieldwork

4.4 Structural and non-structural failure types

2.7 Suggested strategies for future fieldwork 2.8 Desk work and master-planning

5 PROTECTION, AND CONSERVATION GUIDELINES 5.1 Philosophy of development and conservation principles

3 STRUCTURAL AND URBAN ANALYSIS

5.2 Approaches to development and conservation

3.1 Dhofar: Society & culture

5.3 General policies for development and conservation

3.2 Salalah: Region & history

5.4 Guidelines for development and conservation


Table of Contents 5

6 PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVEMENTS

Appendix A1, Bibliography

6.1 Socio-economic factors affecting Salalah’s heritage

Appendix A2, Drawn and photographic documentation

6.2 Primary measures 6.3 Development zones 6.4 Clearing and safing 6.5 Signage

7 MASTER PLAN 7.1 introduction 7.2 Challenges & opportunities 7.3 Regional Master Plan 7.4 City-wide Master Plan 7.5 Urban renewal plan 7.6 Salalah al-Wusta 7.7 Salalah Gharbiya

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Salalah Al Wusta & Gharbiya - Heritage Management and Development Plan

SUMMARY The following document proposes a detailed and comprehensive strategy for the preservation and development of the heritage quarters of Salalah in the Dhofar Governorate of Oman. The aims are, as agreed with the Sultanate’s Ministry of Heritage and Culture, the creation and implementation of a sustainable heritage management strategy, which will ensure the survival of Salalah’s ancient heritage as well as provide an opportunity to showcase said heritage to stakeholders and visitors. During on-site fieldwork in the Autumn of 2015, it became evident that Salalah’s vernacular heritage was in a very advanced state of decay and that the vernacular quarters of the city exhibit a very high density of population. With this in mind the research team felt that what is needed in Salalah is an urban renewal plan which can add value, economic dynamism and a better quality of life and thus aid in the effort to preserve the architectural heritage. The plan was produced by the University of Liverpool’s research team. The interdisciplinary team of researchers, comprised of architects, archaeologists, anthropologists and tourism experts, has substantial experience working in the Sultanate of Oman with past projects including the Bahla WHS, Birkat al-Mawz, Harat al-Yemen in Izki, Fanja, Ibri, Al-Mudayrib and several others. In addition to a substantial amount of fieldwork by an international team of 6 researchers over the course of 2 weeks, this proposal draws substantially on past studies and plans drafted for Salalah and the broader Dhofari region by a range of international researchers. A complete and detailed bibliography of the sources consulted and cited is included at the end of this document.


Aims & Intent 7

STATEMENT OF INTENT The fundamental intention of this development plan is to achieve the sustainable preservation and continued habitation of the vernacular quarters of the city of Salalah on the coast of Dhofar by making the heritage areas an intrinsic part of the larger urban environment. Under sustainability the authors understand not only the ecological and cultural aspects which form the principal appeal of the site and must therefore be protected, but also the financial concern of investing in Salalah’s future. Capital for the maintenance and investment in the settlement will necessarily require external (i.e. ministerial) input to begin with, but the final goal is to reach a level of self-sufficiency where proceeds from the local economy sustain the required expenses of the community. While currently Salalah’s heritage quarters are in an advanced state of decay, a well planned investments strategy, coupled with the enforcement of international conservation guidelines, could reverse the disappearance of the traditional architecture from the Governorate’s capital All measures here proposed are in accordance with international conventions and ICOMOS guidelines and it is expected that all future interventions at Salalah will continue to uphold these values.

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1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 LOCATION The city of Salalah, which is the capital of the Dhofar Governorate, is located on the shores of the Arabian Sea, about 1.5km inland from the beach-front, behind a long stretch of coconut palm oasis. Today the city occupies a sizeable stretch of territory and is home of a large population of both Omanis and expatriates from many nationalities. The location of Salalah is in some sense pre-determined by the climatic condition of the Dhofari coast and the annual monsoon rains which gather in the high mountains to the west and north of the coastal plain. Precipitation and run-off from these rains filters through the soils and emerges again at the salt-water interface along the coast, making possible the cultivation of crops in large oases. Unlike most cities in the north of Oman, the core of Salalah’s old town is very dispersed and lacks a clear centre or perimeter. The town was traditionally divided into three semi-defined sections known as Salalah ash-Sharqiyah, al-Wusta and Gharbiya - Eastern, central and Western Salalah respectively. For the purposes of this study the authors concentrated on al-Wusta and Gharbiya, as the Eastern quarter has seen excessive development in recent decades, and heritage structures are no longer extant. By way of an explanation it is worth pointing out that the report makes a distinction in the words ‘Governorate’ and ‘region’ when referring to Dhofar. The term ‘Governorate’ evidently refers to a modern political and administrative territorial division, while ‘region’ is used to when discussing the less clearly delineated historical and cultural context of impact and influence.


Introduction 9

1.2 MASTER PLAN GOALS AND INTENTIONS While the ancient frankincense trade, and the great wealth that resulted from this, no longer play an important role in the South Arabian economy, in recent decades a number of infrastructural improvements such as the construction of modern roads, the modern port at Raysut, and a large international airport as well as a number of luxury resorts in the vicinity, have substantially changed the economic and social outlook of Salalah’s inhabitants. On the one hand this offers great opportunities which should be supported, but there is also a valid concern that the town’s cultural heritage and that of its inhabitants will suffer as a result of accelerated economic change. This is already visible in the abandonment and the consequent decay of the town’s Old Quarter and its grand merchant houses. These ancient buildings and their broader urban environment constitute a prime example of Oman’s great heritage as a maritime trading nation. The notion of ‘preservation’ must therefore transcend the mere physical representations of the past such as architecture and monuments and instead amplify its remit to a preservation of values and identities. Only if the stakeholders feel a living connection to the object will the task of preservation become a matter of course and the local community will engage in it of their own volition without prompting. While tourism can be regarded as a useful vehicle to generate short-term cash flow, its long-term success can only be guaranteed if the visitor experience remains to be perceived as ‘authentic’ and personal. In the medium term, however, tourism will likely remain of minor effect in these two settlement quarters, with domestic business development and the residential market having a greater chance of success at this stage in the city’s development. The authors’ approach to the issue of heritage preservation and development is geared toward a holistic understanding thereof. The intention is not purely to thematise the past for its own sake, but to instead make tradition a contemporary subject. To integrate certain traditional values and modes of urban living into the modern urban planning strategies has become commonplace throughout the developed world, and the vernacular quarters of Oman’s cities and towns lend themselves well to their adaptation to modern requirements. The continued habitation of Salalah’s heritage houses poses a number of challenges as well as opportunities to the project, the resolution of which is expected to serve as a regional model for the engagement with traditional communities. Two core factors must be taken into account in this effort: 1) The local community, including the thousands of expatriate workers currently inhabiting the heritage quarter, who anticipate the raising of their living standards and infrastructural improvements through governmental support.

2) The visitor community, which expects to be given an experience of Omani culture and the traditional lifestyles. One of Salalah’s settlement quarters, known as al-Haffa, has recently been scheduled for redevelopment into a so-called ‘luxury heritage quarter’ in a an attempt to showcase to tourists and foreign visitors Dhofar’s architectural heritage. It is felt that tourism is at times treated as a sort of panacea that will quickly cure all economic ills for non-industrial and under-specialised economies. The expectation is that with minimum effort and small investment a large amount of foreign capital can be attracted into the local economy without the need for large-scale infrastructural development or training of a workforce. This sort of half-cooked approach to tourism economics is often coupled with an, at-best, faulty understanding of what the visitor actually wants to experience, and often leads to ‘over-servicing’ the perceived wishes of visitors. The result is invariably a drop in experiential quality followed very quickly by a drop in visitor numbers. In this sense it is necessary to establish a diversified economy that does not depend exclusively on outside capital, but one that is capable of generating value locally. The museumification of Salalah, and al-Haffa, should therefore be avoided at all costs. It will be necessary to provide the local community with alternative sources of income which are only indirectly linked to tourism and create a more solid economic base, which can successfully withstand market and visitor fluctuations. Any heritage development in Mirbāt should therefore aim to diversify the local economy, bolstering already existing mercantile activity and fostering the establishment of new fields.

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Preparation and Fieldwork

2 PREPARATION AND FIELDWORK

2.1 INTRODUCTION As with all prior reports, this volume too was produced taking into account earlier work by scholars and academic and research institutions that have been involved in the study of Arabian vernacular architecture and urban development. The broader Dhofar region has received some attention from international scholars, through most often as part of the Hadrami/Yemenite cultural sphere. Particularly the nature and history of the frankincense trade of Antiquity has attracted the attention of researchers, with sites such as Sumharam and Al Balid receiving the bulk of scholarly attention. The more recent architectural expressions of southern Oman’s settlements are, by comparison, somewhat understudied. While there are a number of historical references to Dhofari architecture by travellers and explorers such as Niebuhr (1792) and Miles (1919) it was Paolo Costa (1994) who provided the first more or less systematic description of the region’s coastal architecture in the article ‘Architecture of Salalah and the Dhofar Littoral’ (Costa & Kite, 1985). Another early but very insightful set of reports are those provided by Bertram Thomas in the 1920s and 40s. Thomas was one of the first Westerners to capture on film day-to-day scenes from Salalah and other Dhofari towns as well as from the interior of the country. His ethnographic studies form the backbone of much of our modern understanding of the socio-cultural history of the region (Thomas, 1929, 1932,1948) .

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2.2 PREPARATORY WORK Prior to initiating on-site work in Oman, the authors carried out extensive preparatory work to develop the fieldwork strategy and implementation procedures. The following were accomplished: 1. Preparation of detailed fieldwork documentation and drawing production guidelines for use on site; 2. Procurement and preparation of aerial photographs for on-site use; 3. Creation of a schematic plot boundary map including buildings, other structures and open areas; 4. Establishment of a data handling and storage strategy, as outlined in the ‘Fieldwork Guidelines 5. 2012’, which was subsequently to survey assistant trainees from the MHC to standardize proceedings; 6. Collection and review of past literature on Salalah and Dhofar’s historical, social, cultural and architectural character.

2.3 RECONNAISSANCE The Fieldwork in the autumn of 2015 was to include not only Salalah, but also the smaller coastal town of Mirbāt, located some 70km to east of Salalah. In order to best organise the time available, it was decided to first reconnoitre both sites and determine their value, size and condition and then decide how much time to devote to each site. Logistical reasons made it advisable to complete the documentation of Salalah prior to that of Mirbāt, though it should be noted that condition of the two sites could hardly be more different. Salalah, while being very large (477 units surveyed), was largely inhabited and therefore relatively few units could be accessed. The houses in Salalah had seen substantial modification at the hands of residents and owners, and the working conditions were hampered by very large amounts of waste disposed of in accessible houses. Mirbāt, on the other hand, is a small town with fewer heritage buildings, but where the inhabitants display a clear sense of pride in their heritage and thus took care to maintain the street-scapes and the general aspect of their ancestral homes. Over the course of one day the team surveyed the town and its immediate environs, taking


Preparation and Fieldwork

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photographs of relevant structures and gauging the number of accessible buildings. It was decided to document photographically all buildings in the al-Wusta and Gharbiya quarters, independent of age or heritage value. This was necessary as the traditional urban fabric had become so heavily eroded by modern developments that only a holistic approach could provide the complete picture of Salalah’s urban evolution.

2.4 FIELDWORK IN SALALAH After having concluded preparatory work and developed a clear fieldwork strategy the team set out on a four week fieldwork campaign. After an initial appraisal of the size and condition of the architecture in Salalah it was decided that a two week period should b devoted to the documentation of the site. This was done in conjunction with a short site visit to Mirbāt, which also formed part of this project. The condition of the heritage structures and spaces in Salalah is in an advanced stay of decay in some cases, and in others the buildings have been modified substantially from their original appearance by their current users. Since the abandonment of old houses by their original owners, many of these dwellings have been rented out to expatriate labourers, who have taken up residence there in large numbers. Indeed, it could be said that the old quarters of Salalah are almost exclusive inhabited by expatriates. This situation was a challenge for the team due to the difficulty in accessing many of the dwellings, the large amounts of waste littering this informal community. Furthermore, while the situation in Old Salalah is much derided by some, it could be argued to have contributed to the conservation of the site, as the continued habitation and maintenance have kept many of the older structures from collapsing and disappearing completely. The urban morphology of Salalah is, not unlike that of Mirbāt, quite dispersed and consists of large single volume structures of rectilinear ground-plan and of two to three stories of elevation. The situation of the two settlements, however, could not be much more different. While Mirbāt is located on the sea, flanked on both sides by sandy beaches, Salalah is located about 1.5Km inland, separated from the seafront by a broad and lush coconut palm oasis. In this respect it could be said that Mirbāt had an exclusively maritime/trading outlook, while Salalah also comprised an important agricultural component.


Preparation and Fieldwork

FIELDWORK METHODS The differing size and nature between the settlements of Salalah and Mirbāt required distinct documentation strategies which were difficult to determine off-site. A comprehensive reconnaissance campaign was carried out at both sites shortly after arrival, which resulted in spending the first 16 days of the fieldwork campaign at Salalah. The rationale was that Salalah being the much larger site would require a longer time to complete, though it soon became apparent that the difficulty in accessing many of the inhabited dwelling shortened the time on site. The ground work was begun immediately with the development of systematic zoning plans, assigning alphanumeric designations to each individual building unit and relevant open space (letters for zones and numbers for buildings and structures, underlined codes designating open spaces). These zoning plans, which were generated and updated in CAD as fieldwork progressed, ensure a cohesive and organised approach to the documentation effort by clarifying the various sectors under study at any given moment.

The following approaches were undertaken to physically document the settlements: • Preparation of sketch plans and, where necessary, sections and elevations; both white-paper and graph paper drawing was employed – the latter aiding the representation of proportion in the case of more orthogonal structures; • Taking measurements using tape measures (5m, 7.5m, 30m, 50m, as required); this provided accurate measurements using methods of triangulation of sides and diagonals of units’ rooms as well as open spaces, streets and alleys; • Taking measurements using laser measures, especially at locations where long distances or the dilapidated state of the fabric made it infeasible to undertake measurement using tape measures; • Extensive photographic documentation of interiors and exteriors taken in sequence and ensuring comprehensiveness, but also recording significant elements/objects in detail, which follows established standardised guidelines; • It had been intended to carry out an extensive aerial photographic documentation in addition to the ground based photography. Unfortunately the proximity to Salalah’s airport made flying the UAV over the settlement impossible.

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DRAWN DOCUMENTATION In combination with the reconnaissance campaign on site the zoning plans, previously prepared in the UK, were up-dated and refined so as to match the realities on the ground and facilitate an organised and strategic approach to the documentation of the site. Due to the dilapidated condition of many of the buildings, the fact that many are inhabited and the large amount of modern development in Salalah’s heritage quarters, it was decided to carry out a complete survey of the Al-Gharbiya and al-Wusta quarters in order to have an overarching picture of the heritage remains and their condition, with a view towards a possible integration into an urban renewal plan for the town. This took the form of an urban documentation, rather than a strictly architectural one, focusing instead on recording open spaces, public areas, structural conditions and social factors influencing the site’s current status. A total of 467 relevant structural units and spaces were identified, all of which were photographed and analysed. Of the 467 units only 37 were readily accessible, and thus fully documented also from the interior. As at other projects at Salalah too the team sketched all relevant structures by hand in plan, section and elevation in order to gain a complete record of the architecture and the public spaces within the settlement. Apart from the residential structures in the town the team also recorded other features that were part of the traditional urban environment such as a number of quarries, wells, tombs and mosques, as well mapping streets and access areas within and around the housing areas. Great attention to detail was given to the architecture of the site, sketching all structural features as well as concentrating on decorative elements such as doors and windows. All completed drawings were then measured with tapes and/or laser measures to ascertain their exact dimensions and allow for accurate CAD reconstruction. Due to Salalah’s large size and continued habitation it was decided to also document open spaces and thoroughfares. To distinguish architectural units from open spaces the alphanumeric coding referring to spaces are underlined in the accompanying plans.


Preparation and Fieldwork

PHOTOGRAPHIC & AERIAL DOCUMENTATION After the drawn documentation of a given unit is complete it is photographed to complement the visual record and better ascertain the current condition. This is done in a systematic manner, concentrating first on the exterior with overlapping images in order for them to be stitched together into panoramics, but also so that they can easily be followed by those unfamiliar with the site. In the interior photographs are taken in such a way as to allow for the creation of panoramic images, making rooms and spaces more understandable from a smaller number of images. Additionally a record was produced of all the decorative elements such as internal stuccoed decor, carved doors and windows as well as painted decorations. In some cases the houses still contained the personal belongings and effects of the erstwhile/current owners, such as furniture, carpets, clothes, etc. The recording of the material culture can, wherever possible, provide a much more human perspective of the lives of the original inhabitants. In most cases, in addition to the ground based photography carried out with standard Nikon D3200 DSLR cameras, the authors also carried out a substantial aerial documentation campaign, recording

with stills and video the entirety of the site, as well as specific structures. Using a DJI Inspire 1 with a 4K camera the authors were able to record about 20Gb of very high resolution imagery from different angles and at various times of day. However, in the case of Salalah this was not possible due to the relative proximity of the airport, which posed restrictions on the flying of UAVs over the heritage quarters. Instead a number of flights were carried out over the oasis, looking towards the city and documenting parts of the oasis.

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2.5 COMMUNITY OUTREACH As part of the time on site and in conjunction with the fieldwork the team involved itself with various actors and stakeholders from within the local community. A series of meetings were held with notable individuals who had themselves contributed to the preservations of Dhofar’s and Salalah’s heritage through various means.

CRAFTS CENTRE The team was give the opportunity to run the local crafts centre in Salalah, which is currently run by Mrs. Amina Jama’an Dewan. This small government-run institution is managed with great enthusiasm, and its remit is the preservation and diffusion of traditional skills in the crafting of textiles, pottery, weaving and woodworking. While the intent is clearly laudable and worthy of support, it is currently underfunded and participation is run at an amateur level rather than with a clear professional outlook. It appears that currently the aim of the crafts centre is to impart basic skills in the production of ‘traditional’ objects for the tourist trade. In order to serve this market, however, the quality of the craftsmanship will need to improve markedly, and a much wider variety of objects will need to be produced. Ideally, in addition to decorative objects a significant portion of use-wares could also be produced. In our view the remit of the crafts centre should be expanded to other traditional skills, such as the production of traditional fishing nets, boat building techniques, frankincense cultivation/harvesting, construction techniques, jewellery and even cooking

2.6 CHALLENGES ENCOUNTERED DURING FIELDWORK The following challenges and issues were encountered by the team during the Dhofar fieldwork campaign: • In particular in Salalah the overall condition of many of the houses was deplorable. In particular the very large amounts of material and human waste, raw sewage and garbage made the work not only unpleasant but an actual health hazard. •

Some buildings were partially inaccessible due to structural collapse.


Preparation and Fieldwork

• Much time and resources had to be spent in locating suitable individuals for interview, a task initially agreed to be taken over by MHC. • The slow and unnecessarily cumbersome process to import and use survey equipment proved to be a major inconvenience in terms of cost and time spent, and have affected the results of the fieldwork. .

2.7 SUGGESTED STRATEGIES FOR FUTURE FIELDWORK Pending future investigations and fieldwork in Oman there are a number of points which may be addressed in order to maximise the results of these campaigns.

LOCAL COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT • Organizing a meeting with local community members of all ages prior to fieldwork start to introduce the team and explain aims and outcomes of the project. This was attempted at Sinaw. • Spreading awareness and generating public support among the inhabitants will aid in the maintenance and preservation of the built fabric and generate a positive institutional image.

process as a whole, therefore reducing the cost of the project and helping in meeting deadlines. •

Rather than training many groups of MHC employees for short periods of time, it may be more productive to train a smaller number of individuals in greater depth. This would also add to the speed and quality of the documentation effort rather than detract from it, as has been the case on previous occasions.

• Training graduates and government employees will promote interest in traditional architecture and settlements, encourage research and populate the academic landscape as a whole. • Better provision of carto- and photographic material ahead of fieldwork campaigns would significantly improve awareness of site characteristics, context and condition and accelerate the documentation process. • Supply of existing publications and knowledge of previous research carried out in respective locations by MHC will enhance contextual awareness of locations and increase research output quality. • Organising suitable accommodation (i.e. with furniture and internet access) in the proximity of sites ahead of the team’s arrival would avoid unnecessary delays and allow to make the best use of the available time, thus reducing costs in terms of fuel and transport.

2.8 DESK WORK AND MASTER-PLANNING

• Arranging access to locked or inhabited dwellings for documentation purposes. • Encouraging inhabitants to observe the documentation process to better understand the motivations and outcomes of the project. • Instilling pride of ownership among the inhabitants to develop a self-sustaining conservation process. • Sensitising the residents of the settlements to the removal of debris and domestic waste to improve the sensory experience of the sites and encourage the arrival of foreign visitors. • Establishing construction and development guidelines in accordance with Oman’s vernacular urban fabric for the residents to follow.

INSTITUTIONAL ASSISTANCE • On-site assistance by MHC employees, though sporadic, has been much appreciated, and expansion on this practice could yield greater productivity on site in the future. • Reliable and motivated assistants could have the potential to greatly accelerate the fieldwork

Upon completion of the fieldwork campaign in the autumn of 2014 all the collected data was archived and drawings scanned into a digital format for safe keeping and ease of access. In addition to the production of two progress reports, submitted in January and June 2016 respectively, the following months were dedicated primarily to the transferring of the hand-drawn sketches to a CAD plan of the entire settlement and the surrounding territory with the intention of creating an accurate baseline and record of the village, from which to develop architectural designs. Due to the complexity and irregularity of the structures this process took approximately 5 months to complete. In parallel to the development of the CAD drawings, a number of sections were produced to highlight the lay of the land and changes in altitude which would influence the Master Plan as a whole in terms of accessibility, infrastructural improvements and the retention of privacy of the inhabitants.

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Analysis of site and structures

3 ANALYSIS OF SITE AND STRUCTURES

This chapter explores the past and present of the city of Salalah with the intention of establishing the main relevant tangible and intangible aspects of the site which are to be preserved into the future. This has been achieved by an in-depth examination of the region’s historic past and an a detailed ethnographic study of Salalah’s modern inhabitants. Additionally, this section explores the current condition of Salalah and addresses some of the main issues regarding preservation through the use of a series of analytical drawings.

3.1 DHOFAR: SOCIETY AND CULTURE Despite its well-known maritime connections Dhofar has often been called one of the more isolated regions of the Arabian Peninsula. In-depth descriptions of the country’s interior do not make an appearance until the explorations of Bertram Thomas (1932) and Wilfred Thesiger (1946). The modern Sultanate of Oman is effectively a union between the Oman proper, i.e. The north of the country comprising the lands around the Jebel Akhdar range, the Batinah coast and stretching towards the Mussandam Peninsula, and the southern region bordering with Yemen called Dhofar. Between these two culturally distinct spheres lie several hundred kilometres of largely uninhabited desert. While it is fair to say that the two were never isolated from one another, Peterson (2004) points out that while Oman traditionally has looked towards the Gulf, India and East Africa, Dhofar has traditionally been associated with the Yemeni cultural sphere, in particular the Mahra and the Hadhramawt. The socio-cultural differences between the two parts of the country are not just superficial. While

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the north is pertains predominantly to the Ibadi sect of Islam (though other faiths and interpretations abound), Dhofar is almost exclusively Sunni. This religious homogeneity is contrasted by a surprising degree of cultural and linguistic diversity, as outline by Peterson (2004). Traditionally the region has had a very low density of population, though in recent decades this has increased markedly from around 175.000 in the mid 90s, to around 250.000 by 2013. The majority of the population in concentrated along the coastal plain, in major centres such as Salalah, MirbÄ t, Taqa and Raysut with the remainder living in smaller semi-sedentary communities in the mountains or the transmontane region known as the Najd. The coastal communities were traditionally predominantly Arab, belonging to the al-Kathir moiety, and also groups of East African descent, and fishermen of various origins. The mountains, on the other hand, are inhabited largely by peoples of non-Arabic origin belonging to Jabali and Mahri groups. Dhofar was integrated into the Sultanate of Oman in 1829 by Al Bu Sa’id rulers of Muscat, following the demise of a local leader. Initially, however, this control remained comparatively loose, and many local communities retained a significant degree of independence. In 1879 Muscat strengthened its hold on the region with an increased military presence in Salalah, and has retained control over Dhofar ever since.

3.2 SALALAH: REGION AND HISTORY The Salalah plain measures around 15km at its widest from the foot of the mountains towards the sea. The largest concentration of settlements is located around Salalah, but a number of smaller villages and communities dotted other parts of the plain, such as Taqah, Hasik, Sadh and MirbÄ t. The upland regions, comprising the Qara, Qamar and Samhan mountains, a multitude of deep wadis and the Nejd plateau constitute the watershed which spills either into the Rub al-Khali desert to the north or towards the Salalah plain on the south.

CLIMATE AND WATER The climate of Dhofar presents a number of fairly distinct zones, comprised primarily by the mountainous regions and the coastal plain. While Dhofar as a whole tends to be considered desertic due to the large area comprised by the Rub al-Khali desert, a substantial portion of the coastal plain and the mountain watershed can be characterised as sub-tropical.


Analysis of site and structures

In particular the summerly Monsoon (kharif) drags hot humid air from the Indian Ocean northwards, leading to precipitation in the mountains and extremely high levels of ambient humidity along the coast. The precipitation from this heavily saturated air seeps into the ground and gradually permeates the bajada zone of the coastal plain. Salalah is situated on a fresh water aquifer that is replenished during the annual monsoon season. Climatically the Salalah plain is very arid, with limited rain fall, mostly during the summer monsoon. Humidity levels are correspondingly high during the summer (up to 90%), a fact that could be exploited through the use of domestic atmospheric water generators to supply the community with clean drinking water.

THE COCONUT GROVES

One of the most striking aspects of Salalah is the extensive coconut palm oasis that separates the city from the coastal strip. Today this lush strip of verdant forest supplies much of the local food consumption and has created employment for hundreds of people in the area. These are highly beneficial contribution to the local community which must be preserved as far as possible. On the other hand, it should taken into account that the expansion of the oasis is a very recent development. On aerial photographs of the late 1960s comparatively little area is devoted to agriculture in the space between Salalah and the sea. This changed with the introduction of electric pumps in the 1970s, enabling large areas of cultivated land to be irrigated.

Additionally, since the 1990s large areas of centre-pivot irrigation have been added in order to supply the local demand for produce. This technique is effective for intensive agriculture in terms of accelerating plant growth and ease of harvest due to open spaces which allow access to large machinery, though it requires extremely large amounts of water due to the very high rates of evaporation from to droplet dispersion and lack of shading. The Jabal Qara aquifer is the only source of water in Salalah city. The rainfall and mist precipitation in the Jabal Qara recharges the plain with significant renewable fresh groundwater that has allowed agricultural and industrial development to occur. In Salalah city where groundwater has been used extensively since the early 1980s for agricultural, industrial and municipal purposes, the groundwater has been withdrawn from the aquifer more rapidly than it can be replenished by natural recharge. The heavy withdrawal of large quantities of the groundwater from the aquifer has led to the intrusion of seawater. Agricultural activities utilize over 70% of the groundwater. Studies carried out since 2005 have concluded that the water table has dropped significantly in the last 15 years and that the quality of the water available does no longer meet drinking water standards (Shammas & Jacks, 2007). The excessive extraction of freshwater (some 2000 wells) has lead to high rates of salt-water intrusion along the coastal aquifer. In 2005 an annual 65-75 Mm3 were extracted from Salalah’s coastal fresh water aquifer, of which some 80% were for agriculture and around 20% for domestic use respectively. This rate of extraction was not sustainable 10 years ago, but is likely to have increased substantially since then. If no change or solution to this development is implemented soon it stands to be expected that within the next few years the Salalah oasis will have become too salty for agriculture.

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The continued and sustainable use of the Oasis as the main source of agricultural produce in Salalah can therefore still be recommended, as this method provides not only a higher quality of life due to landscape improvement, but also creates jobs and consumes lower amounts of water.

AL BALID The medieval city of Al Balid/Al Baleed (also known historically as Сafar) constitutes the original settlement in the Salalah area. Unlike the modern city, which is located about 1km inland from the shore, Al Balid was a harbour town situated on shores of the Arabian Sea. It was active primarily between the 12th and 16th centuries as an important entrepôt for south Arabian trade, in particular for frankincense. The town achieved great wealth and traded with places as far afield as Ming China, as has been attested by various porcelain finds there. It likely was one of the ports of call of the great Chinese Admiral ZhengHe and his treasure fleet during their last and longest voyage in the early 15th century. Though heavily fortified and well supplied with fresh water the city came under attack by Rasulids of Yemen during the 13th century and as a result of its partial destruction began to loose significance. By the time of the arrival of the Portuguese and consequent changes in the maritime trading patterns its fate was effectively sealed and the city was gradually abandoned. Costa (1994; 265) states that while the town was located on a khawr and could thus provide shelter to ships, its actual anchorage lay at the port of nearby Raysut. The city grew between two seasonal creeks which had been artificially connected to create a rectangular island. Its former wealth an importance are apparent in the extent and proportions of its fortifications, with a large tower-studded wall enveloping the entirety of the town. Interior defences, with additional fortification on individual quarters complemented the defensive complex of the city. The ruins still show the regular urban morphology, laid out on a grid pattern with a palace and a large maydan at the centre and the Grand Mosque at the western side. Paolo Costa draws some interesting parallels between the urban morphology of Al Balid/Сafar and those of 13th century Sohar and, in terms of their adaptation of the town planning to the physical characteristics of the coast, using inlets and back water as a defensive feature. It is of interest to note the profound departure from this type of centralised and cohesive form of urban development, to that of the city of Salalah which followed from Al Balid. Whereas Al Balid was the clear product of strong institutions, long-term planning and social cohesion, the diffuse and undefined evolution of Salalah suggests the likely absence of such guiding factors.


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THE DHOFAR COAST The earliest substantial discussion of Dhofari architecture is that contained in P. Costa’s volume in Arabian Architecture (1994), which addresses some of the principal characteristics of the architecture of the regions, attempts to establish typologies and looks beyond the Omani border to Yemen, drawing on the main connections between these two spheres. Traditionally the Hadramawt/ Dhofar connection was unequally closer than it is today, and it is therefore not surprising that architecturally there are evident comparators. The formal architecture of the coastal towns such as Salalah, Taqqa, Sadh, Hasik and MirbÄ t stands within a more or less cohesive architectural tradition, which is very distinct from that of the upland regions of the Samhan, Qamar and Qara mountains. While the interior settlements of the mountainous plateaus have the characteristic and appearance of being only semi-permanent settlements, reflecting the semi-nomadic lifestyles of many Jabali and Mahri groups who inhabited these ranges and were famous for the frankincense harvest. By contrast, the coast was the main interface with the markets of the outside world and therefore required the fixed points of contact of permanent settlements and transfer. In antiquity these locations provided an opportunity for fiscal control and exploitation of the frankincense trade and the resources it generated. The resulting accumulation of wealth resulted in the establishment of permanent settlements no-longer dependent on subsistence agriculture but that were instead able to sustain their populations through imports.

3.3 THE RESIDENTIAL QUARTER The modern city of Salalah has expanded along much of the Salalah plain, with the airport and adjoining modern agricultural areas almost reaching the foot of the Jabal Qara mountains. The city has grown exponentially since the 1970s, partly as a result of a general growth in standard of living due to the oil economy, but also because the resulting economic growth encouraged thousands of expatriate workers emigrate to Oman, thus inflating the population of Salalah within a few decades. Traditionally, the settled area of Salalah was located immediately along the northern edge of the palm-groves, with a few smaller residential quarters located closer to the beach. Salalah ashSharqiya, al-Wusta and Gharbiya are located inland, a slightly higher ground that of the oasis. The ground upon which the houses stand is less sandy, instead composed of a low limestone ridge which tended to form the foundation of most of the older houses in the area. The limestone and coral sandstone found in the area also comprised the main building material for almost all the

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traditional architecture in Salalah. The stone was often quarried from among the houses, in open spaces and public areas where the bedrock would break the shallow surface soil.

MORPHOLOGICAL EVOLUTION The modern city of Salalah appears to have developed out of the destruction and abandonment of the older city of Al Balid, which is located on the coast along a natural khawr (an inlet or seasonal estuary). The morphological distinctiveness between both sites makes separate chronological phases likely, rather than a parallel development. The exact urban development of Salalah in the aftermath of the destruction of Al Balid is so far unclear, though it seems likely that a part of the population established themselves further inland, perhaps feeling safer there. Nevertheless, there were also other settlement quarters located closer to the sea also appeared, such as that of al-Haffa. A number of small and informal settlement clusters grew on the limestone rise which runs like a spine along the northern edge of the Salalah oasis. Whether the oasis was already in existence during the 15th/16th centuries is not certain, though the relatively easy availability of ground water makes

it very plausible. Over time the small independent settlements clustered around the oasis gradually grew into one-another, giving rise to the current organic appearance of Salalah’s three quarters. Other groups, predominantly belonging to or associated with of the Shanfari tribe, established the settlement quarter of al-Haffa on the sea-ward side of the oasis. Most of the houses located directly on the shore were traditionally more humble belonging to fishermen, with wealthier inhabitants preferring to settle further inland.

DWELLINGS The architecture of Salalah is effectively the archetype of Dhofari coastal architecture, mostly consisting of fairly large free-standing structures of a rectilinear plan and of up to three levels and occasionally with interior courtyards and upper level terraces. They were usually arranged with their main doors facing south, towards the sea, in order to catch the cooling breeze which could be channelled through the house via a central staircase. At the same time their southerly orientation allowed them to turn their backs to the dusty and sometimes cold wind coming from the Jabal Qara during the winter. Structurally, the construction material of choice tended to be coral lime stone, often quarried within the vicinity of the settlement. A mud or lime mortar was used to bond the masonry of roughly cut blocks. Wall thicknesses tend to be around 75-80cm at ground level of multi-level structures and then taper by about 7% per level. Interestingly, to increase stability and structural cohesion of the walls, ring beams in the form of long hardwood sticks wooden poles were often integrated into the fabric of the wall, acting as a reinforcement. These elements are often failing in older structures due to rot and termites, and their replacement may prove to be complex and costly. Architecturally the merchants’ houses of Salalah were the expression of a wealthy elite who had managed to accumulate a substantial amount of capital from their businesses. While the houses are outwardly sober and restrained, the relative wealth of their inhabitants is in many cases displayed in the very elaborate wooden doors and windows, which were often imported from either East Africa or India, further illustrating the internationalist outlook of these small Dhofari communities. The ground floors tended to be reserved for storage, and therefore did not count with any large windows or openings. Small ventilation holes might allow in the occasional shaft of light, but for the most part the interior was lit artificially. Ground floors more often than not consisted of tamped earth, though in some cases cement was used more recently. One interesting, and characteristic feature of many Dhofari coastal houses is the layout of the ground floor, with a large central stair case located at the centre, on axis with the main entrance and reached via a three-volume partition of two anterooms and a corridor perpendicular to the stairs. This arrangement is repeated in many


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houses of Mirbāt, Salalah and the wider region. The ascending flight was usually on-axis with the main access to the house, therefore providing a clear view from the door to the stairs. Despite the comparative darkness of the bottom floors of the houses, the stairs were often naturally lit with the light coming from a terrace above. In stark contrast with the dark and stuffy ground floors, the upper, residential, levels of the houses are very light and airy, counting with rows of screened openings which allow for good crossventilation and cooling. As elsewhere in the Arab world, the width of rooms is roughly dictated by the length of timbers available. In northern Oman palm trunk are usually used, which due to their fibrous texture can usually not support roofs wider that around 3 metres. In Dhofar the straightgrowing date palm is not as readily available as in the north,so instead the stems of the coconut palms are often used as roof supports as well as mangrove trunks or candlewood (Pterocelastrus tricuspidatus) beams, which also limit room width to around 255-300cm. These, not unlike other wooden elements such as doors, windows and furniture, were often imported from the East African coast. It was not uncommon for many of the houses in Salalah to have an upper level courtyard around which some of the residential rooms would be arranged, providing natural light ventilation and privacy, as well as an open air space during the cooler hours of the day. Externally, nowadays most Dhofari houses are rendered with a lime and clay plaster which is whitewashed and decorated with wide dark bands that run the width of the elevation. This features if fairly ubiquitous and has been since the mid 20th century. Local informants, however, have told us that this is not the original external appearance of most Dhofari houses, and that they were instead left un-rendered with the masonry on view. Many of the larger houses tended to have a walled forecourt which could be used to carry out household tasks in the exterior, but with a retention of privacy.

THE MERCHANT’S HOUSES

A characteristic feature of Salalah’s vernacular architecture are the large houses built by some of the community’s successful overseas traders. Amongst the grandest of these is the one known as Bait as-Sail (N4), Spatially the merchants houses consisted or large compounds which served more than just residential functions, but functioned also as part of the owner’s business. The ground floors were in most cases reserved for the storage of goods and equipment. Some merchants also owned fishing vessels the equipment for which could be stored in enclosures by the beach or indeed also within their

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residential compounds. Apart from the general proportions of the architecture one of the defining features of Salalah’s grand architecture are the heavily decorated windows, which can be broadly categorised as either masonry or wooden windows. The masonry windows are not necessarily decorative in nature, but primarily functional. They are of interest, whoever, due to their peculiar shape which often consisted of a masonry insert into a larger window shaped hole, leaving only a small square opening in the middle. In other cases one find only a small triangular opening, made from a base slab, and two lead-to slabs. The small opening were usually used for the latrines, allowing for a bit of light to enter the room but retaining complete privacy. The timber windows were in most cases quite heavily decorated and form the main artistic features of the Dhofari houses, together with the doors. The most common type is a wooden insert into he window opening with for small ogees in the upper half. Four perforated screens or shutters were used to close the small openings individually, with the lower half of the wooden insert usually just being a plain board. In other cases the lower half was a mashrabiya style screen. A full typology of Windows and doors can be found at the end of this chapter in a catalogue of architectural features.

MOSQUES Salalah counts with a comparatively large number of mosques, a fact partially explained by the demographic size of the town, but also by its formerly distinct quarters, in which different groups would build their own mosques. All ancient mosques have been demolished and rebuilt or so thoroughly modernised in recent years that there are currently no longer any religious structures of heritage value within the city.

FORTS & DEFENCES One of the extraordinary features of Salalah is that a city of its size it stood almost completely undefended. There were not discernible city walls, forts or towers protecting the approaches to the town, suggesting that the inhabitants had to rely on defence individually, fortifying the houses instead. This may serve as an explanation for the castle-like aspect of many houses, and also illustrates the institutional weakness of Salalah’s political set-up compared to that of Al Balid. A single units can be identified as intentionally fortified (C1-C2-C3), also called the Hakim complex. This large fortified compound was reputed to have been the residence of the Governor Hakim, the


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then governor of Dhofar (Costa 1994; 139). In the past it appears to have adjoined the northern edge of a Friday Mosque, D1. This residential compound of roughly rectangular dimensions was fronted by 30m walls with two circular towers located on the southern corners, though today only the south-western of these still remains. The main house is now in a very dilapidated condition, with no walls standing to original height and no internal divisions still clearly visible. There are reputed to have been two wells in the interior of the complex, but these too have been filled in by collapse and debris and are no longer visible. More recently a modern house has been built in the south-eastern corner, erasing the earlier traces of the tower that stood at this location.

TOMBS AND MAUSOLEA A distinctive feature of Dhofari funerary tradition is the construction of tombs and mausolea in public areas and, indeed, within the urban perimeter of towns and settlements. Whereas in the Ibadi north of the country cemeteries and tombs are usually located at a distance to the settlement, the more Sunni influenced Dhofari communities often have the tombs of important individuals and members of the community located in prominent locations within or around the settlement. The tombs effectively come in two different type: on the one hand the more substantial structures with large domes, which in this region appear to their inspiration from the tomb of Ben Ali in Mirbāt, and on the other hand the much more simple enclosed grave, where the burial site is surrounded by a low wall and occasionally planted with pomegranate trees. In both types there are habitually objects to commemorate the dead such as candles, flags and drapings. In the case of Salalah there a number of little funerary structures erected within the settlement, most of older origin but recently reconstructed in modern materials. These belonged to notable members of the community such as influential sheiks or important religious leaders. In Dhofar there were other funerary structures erected to commemorate the ‘Sahib Mirbāt’ such as the maqam of al-Nabi Ayyub, located some 15km to the NW of Salalah. The interior of this building had no architectural decoration, but was dominated by the cenotaph of the Sahib Mirbāt with an inscribed tombstone in front (al-Salmi, Gaube & Korn 2008, 100). A further distinctive characteristic of Dhofari funerary tradition is the fact that grave stones are quite lavishly decorated, also naming the deceased and year of their death. This, again, is in contrast with the Ibadi tradition of Northern Oman where necropolises are often difficult to identify due to their plain and anonymous appearance, individual graves often not being marked at all or, at most,

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by a small upright slate or rock in the ground. In Salalah there were two great cemeteries located to the north of the heritage quarters. These were originally located on the outskirts of the inhabited areas, but are now firmly integrated into the modern urban envelope.

WELLS As already noted in the previous section, the settlement of Salalah is located along an important aquifer descending from the Qara mountains to the north. The geology for the site is such that the denser sea water pushes the fresh water from the aquifer upwards, closer to the surface making it comparatively easy to extract through wells. While the majority of the wells in the area are located within the oasis, in part due to the sandy soil, there are also a number of public wells dotted around the settlement quarters. In addition to these public wells there are also a large number of private ones, with almost every large merchant house possessing its own well, or indeed several. Dwelling S20, a grand structure located in Salalah al-Wusta, has a total of three wells, two of which appear to have been of public use and were located on the outset wall of the compound.

MARKETS & SHOPS With the influx of large number of expatriate labourers a number of informal markets have sprung up around the streets and ruins of Salalah’s heritage quarters. They are mostly concentrated in the ash-Sharqiya quarter and aim to provide for the needs of the expatriate community, though increasingly also many Omanis purchase their groceries there. The markets are run in the evenings before sunset when it is cooler but there is still natural light as there is no street lighting. The vegetable market is located mostly between areas F, K & J, including parts of the square adjacent to F5. The locations of the vendors are not exactly determined and change depending on the produce that is on offer, most of which is grown locally within the oasis. For the most part the produce is exhibited by being laid on cloth or tarps lying on the ground, with no official allocation of space. These spaces redefined themselves each day depending on the number of vendors, customers, season, etc., and thus highly dynamic and alive. It is proposed to retain this level organicity, but to also improve the current conditions by providing paving, shading, lighting, electricity and running water. The fish and meat market is, in the same manner as the vegetable market, also an informal series of stands or simple boxes upon which the catch of the day is exhibited, located in the open spaces of area J. Due to the lack of refrigeration fish and meat cannot be exhibited for long.


Analysis of site and structures

A textile market is held on most afternoons at the little square adjacent to N29/M12 and offers mostly cheap import clothing for expatriates. Here too the space is located in the remains of a ruined structure which doubles as storage during the night time. Many of the street fronts have rows of shops which are open throughout much of the day and quite late into the evening. These businesses tend to sell household items, clothes, electronics and provide the elemental services which the community requires and also provide consumables which cannot be locally produced such as rice, flour and clean drinking water.

3.4 CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES Along most of the Dhofari littoral the primary construction material tends to be the local stone. This may range substantially in terms of composition and consistency depending on the local geology, but for the most part they tend to be marine deposits of either coral sand- or limestones. The blocks are quarried from nearby locations and cut in roughly hewn blocks of about 45x25x25. In the vast majority of cases the quality of the coursing is very irregular and inconsistent in terms of the bonding patterns employed. The general tendency was to lay the masonry blocks in an overlapping stretcher pattern with a clay and aggregate fill. Arches were very rarely used in Dhofar, and despite the comparatively high price of wooden elements such as beams, wooden lintels were the preferred structural solution for passages, doorways and thresholds As a reinforcing element staves and wooden poles were inserted longitudinally in the walls to spread the load and brace the internal structure of the walls. Usually these consisted of either individual staves or bundles of 2-3 of around 1.5m in length, smaller and lighter ones often being located higher up in the wall structure, with thicker ones at foundation level. These elements, being made perishable materials, have a tendency to either rot in the humid climate or be weakened by termites and other insects. In many of visible cases of collapse amongst Salalah’s houses these elements been seen to have rotten away. The bonding material used on most buildings consists of a sandy clay and lime. The quality of this materials is fairly durable in dry conditions, but affected adversely by rising damp which easily makes it crumble, therefore weakening the buildings from the base. Externally the majority of Salalah’s old houses were plastered and whitewashed, therefore concealing the structural detail of the walls and structural elements. The external decorative schemes of the

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houses were usually very simple, consisting either of simply the above-mentioned whitewash or a dark band which separates the various floors of the building. One common decorative feature, visible also among the large merchant houses of Salalah are a series of crenelations located atop a low parapet on the wall-heads of the buildings. These tend to be spaced out by a few metres are always located on the corners of the buildings. These features appear to be of some antiquity in local design schemes as they are strongly reminiscent of the design known from ancient Dhofari incense burners. These are known to have represented ancient buildings, such as palaces or temples, and they exhibit very similar design elements.

3.5 TYPOLOGICAL DISTINCTIONS As already alluded to briefly in previous section the architecture and urban morphologies of the Dhofari littoral are distinct from those observable in other part of Oman. While in the northern regions of the country the prevalent building material are mud-brick and palm trunks, with occasional use of un-worked stone masonry for foundations, the Dhofari house tends to be built from coral limestone blocks which were roughly worked and plastered. The durability, as well as the regularity, of this building material are probably contributing factors to the rectilinearity of the houses in Dhofar, compared with those of the north. Mud-brick structures need constant up-keep, with frequent re-facing and additional strengthening of walls modifying the shape of buildings over the course of just a few decades. Additionally, the northern architecture tends in most cases to use mud or local clay as the render for the houses, giving the structures the same coloration as the ground they stand on. This gives the mud-brick houses of the ad-Dhakhliya, ash-Sharqiyah, Batinah and other regions their characteristic ‘organic’ appearance. The houses of the south, conversely, tend to use a white-washed plaster which makes the buildings stand out in the landscape and distinguishes them from their environment. The cumulative effects of these distinct building traditions have a profound influence on the morphological evolution of the settlements as well as their appearance. While towns and villages in the north of Oman are well-known for their sinuous street plans, the extreme close proximity of the house to one-another and the use of overhangs bridging lanes and streets, the morphological appearance of Mirbāt or Salalah is characterised by its airy looseness. Environmental as well as social reasons are likely to have played key roles in the disposition of Dhofari houses in relation to one another. While in northern Oman shade was the main cooling system, the coastal towns of Dhofar appear to have instead relied much more on the sea breeze, orienting the houses towards the sea and allowing for the air to circulate unobstructed through the houses.

3.6 SIGNIFICANCE & THREATS Salalah’s inherent significance comes from it being both the political and economic centre of the governorate of Dhofar. As such the town has grown exponentially in recent decades which, expanding into the Salalah Plain and increasingly also along the coast. Historically, however, the main factors underscoring the importance of Salalah’s heritage are the following: • The proximity of the archaeological site of Al Balid underscores the relation between longdistance trade, wealth and urbanism along the Dhofar littoral. Even after Al Balid’s destruction the area has retained its quality as an important commercial hub • Salalah’s vernacular settlement quarters present some of the best examples of Dhofar’s merchant architecture, with some large and well-known buildings still extant • The recent decision to develop the quarter of Al Haffa for tourism, will likely result in an influx of visitors from the region and further abroad. While this will necessarily require bringing Salalah’s vernacular quarters ‘up to scratch’, it may also afford opportunities for development and economic growth.


Analysis of site and structures

Bearing mind these points, it must also be noted that Salalah’s vernacular architecture has already been almost totally obliterated by the rampant development and lack of regulation of the last three decades. The principal factors affecting the city’s Architectural heritage are the following: • Lack of maintenance on the part of the owners of buildings, who see no value (economic or other) in the preservation of their ancestral homes. • The lack of control or regulation on the part of the authorities over the living conditions of expatriate tenants who are inhabiting those houses that are still standing • The lack of regulation and oversight on the part of the authorities over demolition, reconstruction, modification of historical houses and spaces. • The lack of utilities and services (especially waste management and sewage treatment) for the inhabitants • The apparent lack of enforcement of littering/fly-tipping laws (if extant).

3.7 DRAWN ANALYSIS This section consists of a number of analytical drawings which illustrate the principal points addressed in this chapter. The principal aspects addressed concern the urban morphology, salient settlement components such as mosques, wells, commercial areas and residential areas, as well as the main transit patterns and their usage within and around the settlement. Additional drawings address the functions of the various structures and their current condition.

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Structural Failures and States of Preservation 55

4 STATES OF PRESERVATION

The following has to be noted in relation to the mapping of old buildings and modernized old buildings: • units that could not be documented because inaccessible have been mapped as “not appraisable”; • units that, although not accessible, showed evidence of inhabitation and/or use and, therefore, were deemed inhabited, have been mapped as “presumably adequate”; • units consisting in new modern buildings and enclosures have been left unmapped. 

4.1 STATE OF PRESERVATION AND FAILURE ANALYSIS An analysis has been carried out of the state of preservation of Salalah Gharbiya and Salalah alWusta and of the failure types, both structural and non-structural, affecting the traditional building units that still retain, fully or partially, their original fabric. Within the settlement 467 units, including built structures as well as open spaces and squares, have been identified for inclusion in the present Heritage Management and Development Plan, of which 41, including old buildings and modernized old buildings, have been fully photographed and, therefore, considered for the purpose of the analysis of the state of preservation and failure types. In addition, 85 units comprising both old buildings and modernized old buildings, which showed to be inhabited and/or used, have been included in the analysis. The remaining 341 units, which comprise new modern enclosures, new modern buildings, open spaces and squares have been excluded from the present analysis.

Figures on page 58-59 maps the structural and non-structural failure types affecting the stone masonry envelope of of 81 units comprising old buildings and modernized old buildings which, having been fully photographed, allowed for an accurate assessment. Pathologies have been identified, listed and analysed under broad categories in order to accordingly devise conservation and rehabilitation strategies. Pathologies identified are the result of the combined action of “anthropic” and “natural” degradation factors. The former consist in the physical transformation of the original built fabric, e.g. through addition and juxtaposition of new build made of modern materials – concrete blocks and cement plaster – to the original built fabric made of stone masonry, sarooj mortar and palm tree wood floors. The latter include the action of rainwater, wind, water runoff, water stagnation around the buildings and infiltration from the roofs into the buildings, which then lead to erosion of wall tops and bases, wall surfaces and roofs.

4.2 GUIDING PRINCIPLES TO CONSERVATION AND REHABILITATION

Figures on page 56-59 maps the state of preservation of these 126 units according to 4 broad categories - adequate, presumably adequate, inadequate, ruinous - and has to be read in conjunction with Table on page 60 - which describes the state of preservation of the units by:

The following complementary and interconnected guidelines must lead any intervention to be carried out on the stone masonry fabric of the settlement for conservation and rehabilitation purposes:

• indicating the degree of preservation of the building units;

• authenticity, in both material and form which means that in the work of conservation of a structure which is part of a group, partially or fully, not only must the total authenticity not be

• showing it by means of sample photos; • suggesting actions to be implemented; • identifying and quantifying, in percentages out of the total of building units analysed, those falling into each state of preservation category.

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for regular upkeep which should in turn discourage neglect. The alteration or extension of a building structure for its adaptive reuse requires a degree of spatial flexibility which earthen construction has, given its informal and plastic nature. If reuse builds upon these intrinsic characteristics earthen structures are able to meet the requirements and standards of present-day uses without losing their essential qualities. With reference to the degrees of preservation of the settlement, conservation strategies will have to meet the following: • structures in “adequate” state of preservation: refurbishment alterations will be carried out in a way that respects he scale, massing, form, materials and the social status of the structure as well as the architectural composition and skyline of the cluster to which it belongs (no new construction, demolition or modification which would alter the relations of mass and colour must be allowed according to art. 6 of the Venice Charter, 1964); • structures in “adequate”, “acceptable” and “inadequate” states of preservation: the original fabric will be retained as much as possible to be consolidated, renewed and refurbished; • structures in “acceptable” and “inadequate” states of preservation: missing elements – walls, floors, ceilings, staircases – will be replaced with new elements clearly distinguishable by material, form, grain, construction or texture from the original structure. Replacements of missing parts must integrate harmoniously with the whole, but at the same time must be distinguishable from the original so that restoration does not falsify the artistic or historic evidence (Art. 12 of the Venice Charter, 1964). Any extra work which is indispensable must be distinct from the architectural composition and must bear a contemporary stamp (art. 9 of the Venice Charter, 1964); • structures in “inadequate” and “ruinous” states of preservation: consolidation will be carried out by employing the most suitable available technologies at the time of intervention (where traditional materials prove inadequate, the consolidation of a monument can be achieved by the use of any modern technique for conservation and construction, the efficacy of which has been shown by scientific data and roved by experience, art. 10 of The Venice Charter, 1964).

4.3 GUIDING PRINCIPLES TO REPAIR ACTIONS The following methodological criteria must be met in implementing the general repair measures: • repair must be necessary, reversible, the minimum required to achieve the proposed result and compatible with the original fabric;

• repair must be preceded by investigation of the reason for failure, so that recurring failure can be prevented by appropriately dealing with the causes of damage and making good effectively; • repair must be preceded by investigation into construction aspects - soil content, clay type, pH value, lime/clay composition in mortar and plaster, strength of materials - climate aspects - relative humidity and temperature both inside and outside the building units - environmental aspects - thermal conductivity of walls and temperature of floors - use aspects - changes made to the structure which might have caused failure; • repair must take into account the results of recording and documentation in terms of historical background, social status, spatial organization and construction of the structures; • repair must take into account social, cultural and economic driving factors such as the need for local employment, maintenance of tradition and training; • repair must achieve a balance between the materials required for the intervention and the requirements of tradition; • repair must be fully documented and archived throughout works.

GUIDANCE NOTES

1. For the purpose of having an as accurate as possible mapping of failure types, these have been identified only in traditional building units that have maintained their original fabric unaltered (“old buildings”) or have been modernized (“modernized old buildings”) and which were fully photographed during fieldwork. Under these circumstances the total number of mapped units is 41. 2. Only failure types that were clearly distinguishable and unequivocally classifiable have been included in the analysis and mapping. 3. Presumably all building units underwent a stage where each relevant failure type occurred, even though currently there is no clear evidence of it.

4.4 STRUCTURAL AND NON-STRUCTURAL FAILURE TYPES Based on the above analysis, the following failure types have been identified and related repair measures suggested. It is important to bear in mind that repair measures refer to individual failure types in isolation; they are by no means to be looked at as resolving more complex situations where one particular failure may have developed as a consequence of and concurrently with others.

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WALL FEET EROSION Given the proximity to the sea and consequent capillary rise the vast majority of walls are affected. Undercuts are visible at the base of external walls predominantly. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of wall feet Method a (inhibition of rising saline moisture): Option 1 - introduction of: 1) natural damp barriers, such as dry-laid rock and slates; or 2) perforated sheet materials; or 3) stone. Option 2 - removal of base courses in short lengths of half a wall thickness at a time, alternated, and no longer that twice the thickness of the wall. Notes: • Impermeable membranes, such as are used in brick masonry structures, are inappropriate in earth-based construction because they can trap water on their upper surfaces and produce a sharp boundary between very wet and very dry zones. Method b (control of water run-off): stabilization of soil surfaces with geotextiles, that is nonrotting mesh materials, laid beneath the surface. Method c (rainwater discharge): introduction of flood discharge channels.


Structural Failures and States of Preservation 63

WALL SURFACE EROSION All units are, to a different extent, affected. External walls are generally more deeply affected than internal walls due to their prolonged exposure to wind and rain action. Eroded wall surfaces appear either pitted or worn away. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of wall vertical surfaces Action 1 (repair of non-structural voids): introduction of selected fillers, which exclude expansive clay fractions, such as sulphate-free pulverized fly ash (PFA)/lime mortar. Cons: the filler is different from the original thus posing problems of visual acceptability. Action 2 (repair of fabric losses): application of a lime/clay render to the wall. Pros: the thin coat of material takes up shrinkage in the depth of the application, so the wall surface, drawing moisture from the applied material by capillary action, reaches a compatible state at the interface and, consequently, an adequate bond is formed under pressure of application. Notes: • where structural cohesion is important the introduction of fibreglass or other reinforcing rods can be considered; • where additional tensile strength is required, synthetic fibre may be introduced. During the process of introduction temporary support may be required and this should always be provided using a soft or compressive pad at the point of transfer of load.

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DETACHMENT OF COATINGS “A” The peeling off produced by this type of failure is accentuated on walls that are exposed to the weather, with a predominance of external walls. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of wall vertical surfaces Method (repair of fabric losses): application of a lime/clay render to the wall. Pros: the thin coat of material takes up shrinkage in the depth of the application, so the wall surface, drawing moisture from the applied material by capillary action, reaches a compatible state at the interface and, consequently, an adequate bond is formed under pressure of application. Notes: • where structural cohesion is important the introduction of fibreglass or other reinforcing rods can be considered; • where additional tensile strength is required, synthetic fibre may be introduced. During the process of introduction temporary support may be required and this should always be provided using a soft or compressive pad at the point of transfer of load.


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DETACHMENT OF COATINGS “B” Mostly walls rendered in a material different from the masonry underneath, i.e. limestone walls rendered in cement, are affected. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of wall vertical surfaces Method (repair of fabric losses): application of a lime/render render to the wall. Pros: the thin coat of material takes up shrinkage in the depth of the application, so the wall surface, drawing moisture from the applied material by capillary action, reaches a compatible state at the interface and, consequently, an adequate bond is formed under pressure of application. Notes: • where structural cohesion is important the introduction of fibreglass or other reinforcing rods can be considered; • where additional tensile strength is required, synthetic fibre may be introduced. During the process of introduction temporary support may be required and this should always be provided using a soft or compressive pad at the point of transfer of load.

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WALL CRACKS Wall cracks are generally marked at wall junctions, around openings and niches and constructionwise weak areas. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of structural voids Method a (filling of structural voids where stones lack contact): tamping of stones and earth mortar (e.g. mixtures of fly-ash, brick dust and lime). Work phases to be carried out: 1. cut out cavity to adequate depth and regular shape; 2. dampen the backing of the cavity; 3. drive in natural or manufactured interlocking mechanisms, such as pieces of stone, helical bars and tiles, randomly regular and avoiding courses; 4. tamp in infill material in layers of maximum 100 mm. Notes: • the infill should be a material free of the problem of shrinkage and with characteristics of thermal movement, strength, resilience, loading and self-weight comparable with an earth structure; • materials to be used to produce it should meet the requirements of a synthetic gap filling component for earth structures, have an indefinite life and conform to the requirements of reversibility (by removal) and identifiability. Method b (filling of structural voids where stones are in contact): tamping of a plastic earth or lime/clay fill depending on original material. Work phases to be carried out: 1. cut out cavity to maximum of half-depth of wall including the crack; 2. dampen the backing of the cavity; 3. lay in mesh (terylene, fabric, expanded aluminium etc.) against backing; 4. tamp in infill material in layers of maximum 50 mm. Notes: it is possible to provide shuttering behind which the earth is tamped in, to achieve effective consolidation. An alternative to tamping the fill against the mesh is tamping in a mix of terylene and chopped random fibres, in layers of maximum 50 mm.


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DETACHMENT OF BUILT FABRIC Detachment of sections of built fabric occurs predominantly at junctions of walls built with same or different materials. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of wall displacements Method (filling of structural gaps): non-invasive structural grouting through injection of lime- or earth-based fluid mortars or adhesives to fill discontinuities and reintegrate detached wall sections.

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LOSS OF BUILT FABRIC Loss of stones occurs indiscriminately across the masonry structure. Loss of entire built fabric portions is pronounced in areas above ground level. The following repair measures can be taken: Repair of missing elements Method (filling of structural voids): reinstatement of missing stones and injection of noninvasive structural grouting of lime- or earth-based fluid mortars or adhesives to fill voids and make insertions adhere to the original structure.


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Principles & Approaches

5 PRINCIPLES & APPROACHES TO HERITAGE AGEMENT

MAN-

INTRODUCTION In accordance with the Venice Charter on Conservation (1964) and the ICOMOS Conservation Charter (2004) this chapter sets out the ways in which the significant values of the settlement, its integrity, and the heritage and material culture are to be safeguarded within a context of sympathetic development. Following the establishment of a broad philosophy, a set of general policies for development and conservation are discussed. This is followed by a set of detailed guidelines for restoration, consolidation, rebuilding and redevelopment measures (cf. definitions below). The case of Salalah, as already outlined in the introduction to this heritage management plan, essentially requires a complete urban renewal strategy rather than the mere preservation of some heritage buildings and spaces. With this in mind, the authors do feel the necessity to emphasize the relevance of preserving as much of the vernacular architecture as is possible in order to safeguard a degree of continuity between the town’s historical past and the new spatial and social identities it will develop over the coming decades.

5.1 PHILOSOPHY OF DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION: PRINCIPLES The following are 10 key principles the Heritage Management Plan and associated Master Plan intend to embrace and develop further with special reference to the town (Table 5.1):

PRINCIPLE NUMBER

DESCRIPTION OF PRINCIPLE

P1

Minimum intervention

P2

Reversibility

P3

Retention of buildings, settlements and context: conserve vistas, views, spaces and enclosures and sensitively interpret as necessary

P4

Anthropological (i.e., people centred) approach to heritage management and reuse

P5

Integration of the younger generation through reuse and interpretation of the site

P6

Private and public sector engagement – organisational and individual stakeholder cooperation

P7

A combined bottom-up and top-down approach via the Misfāt Community Cooperative

P8

Introducing functional diversity – possible/ compatible uses for existing buildings through innovative thinking

P9

Sustainable management and conservation

P10

New buildings not copy, replica or pastiche but interpretation: buildings ‘of their time’

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5.2 APPROACHES TO DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION 5.2.1 THAT ALL SIGNIFICANT ASPECTS OF THE SETTLEMENT MORPHOLOGY, FORTIFICATION, TOWNSCAPE, STRUCTURES (INSTITUTIONAL AND RESIDENTIAL), IRRIGATION AND AGRICULTURE BE RETAINED, SAFEGUARDED, CONSOLIDATED, RESTORED AND WHEREVER APPROPRIATE REBUILT, TO PRESERVE THE IDENTITY, INTEGRITY AND AUTHENTICITY OF THE SITE.

The identity of the settlement depends on the retention of all significant material, socio-cultural and historic characteristics amidst development that is both necessary and inevitable. Development should not overwhelm the past; rather, development needs to be carefully managed and integrated with heritage to retain the identity of Salalah . The significant aspects have been identified in earlier chapters (3 & 4). However, further issues are expected to emerge from the necessary additional studies/analysis identified below to extend our knowledge of the infrastructural and socio-cultural aspects (§5.5).

5.2.2 THAT ALL NEW DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE SYMPATHETIC TO THE CULTURAL AND MATERIAL HERITAGE OF THE SETTLEMENT.

All development should respect and remain subservient to the rich cultural and material heritage Dhofar littoral area. Development should not in any way become overbearing – urbanistically, architecturally and otherwise visually. Further studies identified below (§5.5) are crucial to establish a comprehensive picture of the dynamic nature of this heritage. This will demand a knowledge-based yet creative approach to establishing policies, strategies, master plan and all interventions. An experienced multi-disciplinary team, which will draw from latest methodology and techniques, should be entrusted with addressing all aspects of development, conservation and heritage management.

5.2.ALL NEW-BUILD AND EXTENSION SHOULD BE CLEARLY DISTINGUISHABLE FROM EXISTING AND ‘AUTHENTIC’ BUILDING AND SETTLEMENT FABRIC.

All alterations and additions should reflect the culture of its time and therefore should employ materials and construction systems relevant to the present. Hybrid systems engaging traditional materials and methods may be introduced to allude to the complex culture of today. The materials and construction methods chosen for new-builds and extensions should explore the full range of opportunities presented by the juxtaposition of traditional and modern contexts, as long as it does


Principles & Approaches

not compromise the essential integrity of the traditional settlement and its fabric.

5.2.4 THE USE AND APPLICATION OF TRADITIONAL METHODS AND TECHNIQUES OF CONSTRUCTION AND USE OF MATERIALS AND BUILDING COMPONENTS ARE TO BE ENCOURAGED.

This should especially be the case where a ‘significant’ component or fragment is required to be rebuilt or where the character and integrity of the structure would be lost through the use of new materials and/ or construction systems. It would also be possible to employ new techniques of construction to traditional materials or, in some cases, employing traditional construction methods to modern materials. Salvaged building materials and architectural components, wherever possible and relevant, should be reused. Such hybrid construction would still allow for making the clear distinction required under §5.2.3.

5.2.5 A LINK NEEDS TO BE ESTABLISHED BETWEEN MODERN-DAY ASPIRATIONS AND CONTINUATION OF AGE-OLD METHODS OF LIVELIHOOD AND CULTURE.

New programmes would need to establish the fine balance between the continued and very welcome existence of traditional life and those demanded by the globalised environment and societal change. Continued sustenance of the traditional ways of life gives the settlement its character and identity and is clearly an important socio-cultural and economic resource. Requirements emerging from societal changes driven by shifts in the globalised culture and economy, on the other hand, demands careful attention from the developmental perspective. Economics, employment, education, cultural and social development should be considered. Wherever feasible, traditional industry and economic methods should be safeguarded (e.g., agriculture, crafts, infrastructure – irrigation systems and tertiary sectors dependent on traditional economics and modes of production). The nature and scale of new programmes to be introduced should be considered carefully – what size of production, its appropriateness, etc. A large scale ‘modern’ industrial production is certainly inappropriate for small locations such as the town of Salalah. However, a scaled down and modified or partial production might work, with a larger industrial component situated outside the vernacular environment. Decoupling of industrial production with careful consideration of impact of specific components of the processes might need to be carefully and creatively thought through. Cross programming should be considered to avoid zoned restrictions.

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5.2.6 A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT SHOULD BE ADOPTED TO ACHIEVE A BALANCED AND SUSTAINABLE FUTURE WHICH IS IN SYMPATHY WITH THE PAST.

Such studies should take the entire oasis and its setting into account. Development needs, therefore, would have to be established for the entire oasis and not for a constituent settlement in isolation. In the light of the research being currently conducted, the present report thus calls for a revision of existing regional planning strategies and policies to integrate heritage management as a crucial component of development. A regional approach should be adopted for the establishment of use patterns for settlements. It stands to reason that a Dhofar-wide plan is needed to consider the range and hierarchy of settlements for reuse. The strategy should be drawn up keeping significance and aspirations in mind. A regional significance hierarchy should be established to ascertain the importance of settlements and should be aligned with national and regional development policy and growth plans. Regional development plans, therefore, should include a comprehensive understanding of the extant historical settlements and fabric. The region-wide strategy will help avoid duplication and repetition of provisions (e.g., too many museums). It will avoid stresses and strains on limited infrastructure and resources.

5.2.7 A FULL EVALUATION OF ALL CONVENTIONALLY AVAILABLE AND STANDARDISED STRATEGIES SHOULD BE UNDERTAKEN BEFORE EMBRACING ANY OF THOSE AS ACCEPTABLE APPROACHES.

An example of this would be the often uncritical adoption of tourism as a universal panacea for heritage settlements. While this sector is certainly to play an important role, on its own it will fail to ensure sustainable heritage management. Less direct tourism might be worth considering – resulting in more ecologically and socially appropriate tourism. Tourism need to be also considered in terms of its very local nature – not just as international or Arab regional tourism (GCC/ Arab world); this is often overlooked. Increasing sensitive and sustainable local tourism (even within the governorate of e.g., Dhofar) would introduce a rich palette of experiences across visitor groups.


Principles & Approaches

5.3 GENERAL POLICIES FOR DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION The following general policies are envisaged to form the basic framework for development planning and conservation initiatives in Salalah.

5.3.1 ESTABLISHMENT OF A BUFFER ZONE TO SAFEGUARD THE SETTLEMENT, ITS INTEGRITY AND ITS VISUAL APPEARANCE.

This would ensure that the settlement retains its traditional context or limits/ prevents any further damage to it. Additionally, all significant visual corridors need to be conserved, retained and/ or opened up to optimise the significant character of the settlement. A detailed survey needs to be undertaken to identify all significant structures (mosques, sbal, dwellings, water and portuary infrastructure, etc.) located within the Buffer Zone. Conservation and developmental policies and guidelines established for the settlement will apply to the Buffer Zone to retain integrity.

5.3.2 PRIORITISE ACTION ON ZONES AND STRUCTURES ACCORDING TO HISTORICAL AND STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE TO SETTLEMENT.

Settlement analysis and the Statement of Significance have identified important phases of settlement development and structures that are historically important. Such high-value structures and zones indicative of key phases of development need to be given action priority. Approaches to conservation and development (ยง5.2.6) have to be established in accordance with the priority list and the value assigned to structures.

5.3.3 ESTABLISH A PHASING PLAN FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION OF STRUCTURES. THE PHASING PLAN WILL TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE PHYSICAL STATE OF STRUCTURES, PRIORITIES, APPROACH AND AVAILABLE RESOURCES.

The phasing plan needs to take into account the established priority zones and structures. However, a key issue in that is the physical state of individual structures, their ownership and approaches to conservation and development those would demand. Together, the phasing plan, required approaches and available resources would provide the premises of the Master Plan.

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5.3.4 ESTABLISH SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT WITHIN SETTLEMENT GIVING CONSIDERATION TO OWNERSHIP.

Detailed conservation and development guidelines will have to take into account the ownership and nature of occupation of all structures concerned. A few important issues of ownership and occupation may be highlighted here: Mosques (s. masjid, pl. masajid): While the mosques are used for prayer and congregation by the neighbourhood and the community, its day-to-day running is entrusted with the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs. However, physical upkeep of any mosque more than 100 years old falls within the purview of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture. All extant traditional mosques are in use and are in an acceptable state of preservation. Meeting halls (s. sablah, pl. sbal) and communal facilities: Male meeting halls are normally owned by a particular tribe. However, in this town there is also another distinctive type: those associated with dwellings as private reception lounges (s. majlis, pl. majalis) and under private ownership but also used by the tribe, of which there were comparatively few in Salalah. While these lie in a state of disuse and dereliction, the socially and historically perceived and actual ownership issues are important considerations in the acquisition of these properties and in the preparation of guidelines and Master Plan. The ownership of other communal facilities, such as roasting pits (tannur), water access and bathing points along the falaj channels (if extant), etc., again, needs to be established. Dwellings: while the majority of heritage buildings in Salalah are in a ruinous state, most of those that are still standing to roof height are either locked or inhabited. Throughout the remainder of the settlement, however, the majority of dwellings have been heavily modified with modern materials and without any architectural consideration. In some zones, formerly built up spaces have been partially cleared to create open spaces that are publicly accessible, while in other formerly open spaces have been built up with shacks and small houses. The status of these zones will have to be re-addressed in the course of Phase-II development.

5.3.5 MINISTRY OF HERITAGE AND CULTURE IN CONJUNCTION WITH MINISTRY OF TOURISM AND MINISTRY OF HOUSING TO ESTABLISH POLICY AND STRATEGY FOR THE ACQUISITION OF ALL RELEVANT LAND AND PROPERTIES CURRENTLY UNDER PRIVATE OWNERSHIP. ACQUISITION COULD WORK IN TANDEM WITH A STRATEGY TO INVOLVE THE PRIVATE SECTOR.

Acquisition of important properties is critical to the successful application of the Master Plan and phasing programme. All possible strategies and approaches related to acquisition, including a range


Principles & Approaches

of incentive measures, need to be given consideration. While acquisition is important for the early phase of the project, it should form part of a broader policy that incorporates the involvement of the private sector, the community and individual residents.

5.3.6 THE CONSERVATION APPROACH SHOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH INTERNATIONAL APPROACHES AND GUIDELINES AND WITH THE PHILOSOPHY OF DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION ESTABLISHED FOR MIRBÄ€T.

Consistent with international guidelines and definitions for conservation and development within historic contexts, the conservation and development proposal will adopt the following distinction in approaches: Restoration: those structures or components of structures that will need careful attention to return to their original condition and appearance. In Salalah this approach will need to be revised as a substantial part of the town has already undergone intervention prior to documentation. Consolidation: physical addition and the application of adhesive or supporting material to retain the architectonic, visual and structural stability of the ensemble. It will also involve the removal of all debris and organic and inorganic waste deposited on site. Usable and significant architectural and constructional components will be salvaged and treated for reuse. Rebuilding: considerable reconstruction based on available documentation and conjecture to give the structure its earlier and more authentic appearance. Redevelopment: new build with an established and restricted context of architectural operation. In Salalah this should be directed towards either, i) sites presently lying empty and earmarked for development or, ii) properties in such a state of severe dereliction so as to demand immediate clearance and redevelopment.

5.4 GUIDELINES FOR DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION All guidelines for development and conservation have been developed consistent with the development and conservation philosophy and policies established above. The settlement has not been treated as a mere assemblage of built structures and artefacts, but specific attention has been given to the present state of life and future aspirations of the inhabitants, ownership status of structures and the opportunity for public-private partnership. The guidelines are put forward with a view that the private sector, owner-occupiers and individuals with ownership of properties within

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the two towns will take an active interest and part in the development and conservation initiative to move towards the holistic goal. A set of general guidelines for development and conservation in the town is followed by a set of more specific developmental/design guidelines applicable to specific sites, buildings and structures to be redeveloped or rebuilt. The dwellings are given special attention in the light of their numerical dominance, the opportunities they present, the concerning state of preservation, and their development and conservation potential. It is envisaged that the guidelines will be held under regular review and refinement as the project progresses.

5.4.1 GENERAL GUIDELINES

The following general guidelines will be applicable to all development and conservation measures: • The morphology of the original phase of the features, or the phases deemed to be of most significance, will be safeguarded and/ or highlighted to preserve the identity, integrity and authenticity of the site. • All reasonable attempts will be made to ensure the appropriate, and if possible, authentic reuse for any redundant components and features. It will be ensured that the new or continued inauthentic use of features does not distort or distract from the identified significance of older features or the wider traditional assemblage. • Traditional materials will be used wherever and whenever practicable during construction works within the settlement, whether the aim is to consolidate and/or to rebuild existing traditionally constructed buildings or in the construction of new buildings for domestic or commercial purposes. • Where rebuilding is required to preserve a building or structure of significance, all attempts will be made to clearly distinguish those reconstructed elements which are based on accurate archaeological and architectural documentation and those which are merely founded on conjecture. • Maximum understanding of the architectural features and social values will be achieved prior to any intervention – whether the aim is to consolidate, rebuild or redevelop – and this intervention will always be reserved to the minimum required to achieve those aims. Where analysis dictates that preservation in situ of a traditionally constructed building is unwarranted, then it will be preserved by record. This documentation will be approached as though one was recording an archaeological monument. • All measures will be taken to remove debris, hazardous construction, organic and inorganic waste from site. Adequate measures will be taken to prevent any future disposal of such waste


Principles & Approaches

on site and to manage and safely dispose of all household and commercial waste in future. All reusable building material and architectural components will be salvaged, catalogued and stored for reuse. • Any development in the area shall be according to the approved Master Plan.

5.4.2 DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR REDEVELOPMENT

The following general Design Guidelines will be adopted for all redevelopment within Mirbāt: • All efforts will be undertaken to ensure that existing vistas are retained and not blocked with any new construction. • Any new development should respect and respond to the topographic conditions. Inappropriate cut and fill of the site shall not be allowed. • All defensive features and traditional open spaces next to defensive features shall be retained. • All existing dead-end alleys and internal courtyards shall be retained and no encroachments will be allowed. • The traditional sinuous building line shall be maintained wherever possible. • No development shall be higher than the property it is attached to or 8 metres whichever is lower. • The height, scale and composition of any new construction should be in conformity with the compositional order and rhythm of the adjoining buildings, unless photographic and other forms of documentation suggest otherwise.

The traditional palette of materials and construction systems will be restricted to those found within Salalah, such as the following: • Stone for foundations and walls; • Sand-/limestone for walls; • Lime and clay plaster (clay/sarooj) for external and internal rendering; • Clay/stone flooring; • Timber or coconut palm beams, reed/palm matting, compacted mud or flagstone for composite flooring and roofing;

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• terracotta or wooden water spouts; • local timber for doors and windows; • traditional water proofing and protective materials.

Modern materials such as steel/aluminium/glass, etc., may be judiciously and appropriately used along with traditional materials in the development of proposed facility buildings. However, such design shall in no way distort the traditional setting, and the identity, integrity and authenticity of the area. For all buildings chosen for restoration, consolidation or rebuilding, care should be taken while positioning the doors and windows. In dwellings facing each other windows should be staggered so that no window opens facing another window. Similar principle may be adopted for the relative positioning of doors to ensure that no doors are directly facing each other, and views in from one dwelling to another is restricted. Traditional arched recess or arched opening employing traditional decorative elements may be adopted in traditional dwellings. Timber doors and windows of appropriate traditional design and construction may be used. Any ventilation and/or air conditioning equipment should not in any way impinge upon the visual integrity of the dwellings. Air-conditioning and ventilation equipment should be suitably obscured.

5.4.3 DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR COMMUNAL FACILITIES. THE GENERAL APPROACH TO ALL EXTANT COMMUNAL BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES OR FOR WHICH SOME PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (E.G., FOUNDATION, RUINS, ETC.) EXISTS, WILL BE AS FOLLOWS:

• All extant significant components and elements which have suffered deterioration are to be restored and/ or consolidated. • All significant components and elements which have suffered significant damage or have disappeared but for which documentary evidence exists, are to be rebuilt. • All other components are to be rebuilt using either traditional materials or making clear their conjectural nature through the use of adapted traditional/modern materials/constructional systems, as deemed appropriate. • All communal structures for which some physical evidence exists will be retained and consolidated.


Principles & Approaches

โ€ข All communal buildings and structures are to be reused for communal or touristic purposes with appropriate programmatic strategy for adaptive reuse..

5.4.4 DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR DWELLINGS

The following approach is to be adopted for the various categories of dwellings. Clear guidelines will be established for all dwelling types. Traditional construction (vacant and/or derelict). Ministry of Heritage and Culture, in conjunction with Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Housing, should establish policy and strategy for acquisition or ownership of all relevant properties under this category for consolidation and adaptive reuse. Phasing will be taken into account to establish whether the structures are to be demolished, receive faรงade treatment or have internal restoration and rebuilding. Traditional construction (owner-occupied) An incentive-based approach has to be adopted to deal with and encourage maintenance and appropriate extension and rebuilding of the small number of traditional properties under continued ownership (owner-occupied/absentee landlord). However, extension or rebuilding should be of traditional construction and guided by the following set of criteria. Traditional construction (rented) An incentive-based approach has to be adopted to deal with and encourage maintenance and appropriate extension and rebuilding of traditional properties under ownership. This approach will have to take into account and offset the discouraging effect of the present poor level of rent.

5.5 ADDITIONAL STUDIES AND ANALYSES The following additional studies will be necessary to complete our understanding of Salalah. This is crucial to a holistic approach to addressing development and conservation within the settlement suggested earlier. For this, it is also important to undertake further complementary studies on the broader Dhofari littoral and, ideally, also on the communities of Jabal Qara and the Jabal Samhan.

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Case A: Guidelines for vacant sites

Case C: Buildings (vacant/derelict) identified to be consolidated

The conservation measures to be adopted for such buildings shall be determined on the basis of the extent of dereliction. If the building is of low heritage value and of high dereliction, it may be demolished and the land subjected to redevelopment. Otherwise the building may be consolidated or rebuilt.

1. Footprint: The footprint of the building shall follow the existing plot boundary and shall not exceed the area of the existing building. 2. Structural Members: Structural elements employed for the consolidation of the building should be judiciously used so as not to impinge upon the visual integrity and authenticity of the building and the area. Traditional construction (owner-occupied)

Case B: Buildings (vacant/derelict) identified to be rebuilt

1. Footprint: The footprint of the building shall follow the existing plot boundary and shall not exceed the area of the existing dwelling. 2. Façade: The façade of the dwelling shall follow the line of the adjacent structure on the main street frontage. 3. Internal Spatial Configuration: The internal spatial configuration should be sympathetically retained wherever possible. For buildings subjected to adaptive re-use an indication of the original spatial configuration should be maintained with appropriate architectural treatment. 4. Material of Construction: Modern materials such as steel/aluminium/glass etc. may be judiciously and appropriately used along with traditional materials. However, such design shall in no way disturb the traditional setting and the identity, the integrity and the authenticity of the area. 5. Height: The height of the new building shall not be greater than the height of the original structure and if appropriate consistent with the height of the neighbouring dwellings. 6. Architectural Elements: All individual architectural elements, such as carved doors, surface decoration, decorative motifs – internal and external – need to be carefully noted and restored/ retained.

An incentive-based approach has to be adopted to deal with and encourage maintenance and appropriate extension and rebuilding of the small number of traditional properties under continued ownership (owner-occupied/absentee landlord). However, extension or rebuilding should be of traditional construction and guided by the following set of criteria.

Traditional construction (rented) An incentive-based approach has to be adopted to deal with and encourage maintenance and appropriate extension and rebuilding of traditional properties under ownership. This approach will have to take into account and offset the discouraging effect of the present poor level of rent.


Principles & Approaches

Case D: Modification/Extension of traditional mud structure

Proposals for the modification or improvement of traditional buildings through extension or enlargement shall be permitted if the plans do not detract from the character of the harฤt and strictly adhere to the following design criteria: 1. General: The proposed extension should not lead to net loss of agricultural land nor should it lead to the demolition and/or damage of any adjoining traditional structure. 2. Location: The proposed extension shall be located at the rear or side of the dwelling. 3. Height: The proposed extension should not be higher than any of the neighbouring buildings or 8 metres whichever is lower. 4. Floor Space: For single storey extensions, the additional floor space to be created shall not be more than 50% of the existing ground floor area. However, for two-storey extensions, the floor area shall represent not more than 50% of the net area of the upper and lower floors. 5. Faรงade Treatment: The position and form of external features and openings within the proposed extension including the faรงade, walls, doorways, windows, floors and roofs shall be of a similar design and finish to the existing structure to limit visual intrusion. Any ventilation and/or air conditioning equipment should not in any way impinge upon the visual integrity of the dwellings. 6. Building Permits: In considering building permits for extension to existing dwellings the policies under Case B shall apply.

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Priority Measures

6 PRIORITY MEASURES

This chapter summarises the priority measures that need to be taken in Salalah in order to halt the current rate of decay of its vernacular architecture and pave the way for an economically successful future for its heritage quarters.

6.1 SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS AFFECTING SALALAH’S HERITAGE It is not unusual for rapidly developing economies to exhibit the type of urban evolution currently visible in many of Oman’s traditional settlements. The speed of development and the resulting explosive growth of an affluent middle class does not give the traditional architecture time to catch up with people’s whims and requirements, thus being abandoned instead of adapted. With the shift away from an agricultural society towards a fiscal society, rural areas are often the hardest hit by economic migration, with younger generations moving to where the jobs are, i.e. larger cities and coastal centres of commerce and industry. A further factor affecting the condition of architectural heritage and urban evolution is the issue of immigration. Oman’s rapid economic growth and non-industrial wealth has encouraged the immigration of large numbers of skilled and unskilled workers from South Asia, many of whom live far below the poverty line. In this, many Omani landlords have found an opportunity for extra revenue by renting their old town-houses to groups of expatriate workers, who pay rent but also contribute to the maintenance of the houses. This is, in principle, a sustainable approach to heritage management and is therefore to be welcomed by both, the community and he authorities. There are,

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however, important and pressing concerns arising from this practice which need to be addressed immediately if there is any interest in retaining the heritage on the one hand, and creating a social equilibrium on the other. A final factor affecting the urban fabric of many towns and villages is the internal migration of their inhabitants. The abandonment of old houses is accompanied by the construction of new ones, most commonly located on the outskirts of the town. This process can be observed in almost every Omani town or city from medium to large size. Large, low-density suburban areas with little or no community facilities and few opportunities of contact between residents have contributed to a fragmentation of the social fabric of many towns. This localised migration poses challenges to the conservation of the architectural heritage of Mirbāt and the preservation of certain lifestyles in the community, but the physical proximity of the owners and stakeholders to the site itself also provides opportunities for their direct involvement into the development of Salalah.

6.2 PRIMARY MEASURES As already outlined in the urban analysis sections of Chapter 3, Salalah’s heritage quarters have suffered significantly from both abandonment and general neglect, and also incorrect maintenance and modification. Additionally, the urban space as a whole is suffering from over population and the lack of normal urban infrastructure. As a result empty plots are being used as landfill spaces, accumulating enormous amounts of trash which constitute as severe health a hazard as well as an eyesore. As already stated in the three interim reports submitted in the course of 2016, it must be reiterated that the following measures to be carried out without delay, independently of what an adequate future of Salalah’s heritage quarters is deemed to be: • Clearing of rubbish heaps in abandoned plots and open spaces. • As the lack of sanitary facilities has lead many inhabitants to use empty lots and ruined houses as informal lavatories the authors propose the provision of public facilities connected to city mains. • Access to ruined houses and open plots should be impeded with the use of temporary fencing or palisading. The ruined buildings are in permanent danger of further collapse and are thus a severe danger to people walking inside them. • Implementation of an adequate waste management system and enforcement of littering


Priority Measures

laws. This will require active engagement with the community on the part of the authorities and signage will need to be provided. • Strict enforcement of urban maintenance legislation (if extant), against fly-tipping and unregulated building modification, implementation of building codes and regulations. These measures suggested above are of the utmost importance and, thus, vital to the continued existence of Salalah’s vernacular quarters. It is the municipality’s responsibility to ensure the well-being of the quarter’s inhabitants, implementing the necessary safety measures and strictly enforcing extant legislation. In view of the current goals to make Salalah a major tourism destination in conjunction with the development of the al-Haffa heritage quarter, a failure to implement the above measures will result in an extremely negative image for the city and, by extension, for the country as a whole.

6.3 DEVELOPMENT ZONES In keeping with international heritage conservation guidelines a series of restricted development zones should be established within and around the heritage quarters of Salalah in order to preserve the what little remains of the vernacular urban morphology. • The Restricted Development Zone (RDZ): this zone forms the core of the settlement’s old quarters and includes all the zones B, C, D, E, F, G, K, L, M, N, S, R, T, V, U. All these zones have been heavily impacted by ruin and dilapidation and modern development, but in all of them there are still vestiges of heritage which should be protected. Additionally, the authors propose that the proportions and dimensions of any new-builds stay within the vernacular norm. • Development Buffer Zone: This is the area of modern development surrounding the old quarter. Much of this area has already been built up over the last decades, it should therefore include height restrictions on new developments. • Oasis Ecological area: The palm groves of Salalah are the towns prime point of interest and contribute enormously to the quality of life in the city. While it will be necessary to reduce water consumption and improve sewage treatment, the oasis has the potential of providing much of the food stuffs for the city. Additionally it provides pleasant paths and locations for walking in the shade. It should be protected from additional construction and made more easily accessible to visitors.

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Development within the RDZ is to be closely monitored by MHC and local authorities and all construction should follow international heritage management guidelines. This area should retain its heritage character by relying on the use of traditional materials, and dimensioning construction according to vernacular proportions and traditions. While new construction is in principle welcomed, this should be carried out in a responsible manner and with a view towards the retention of Salalah’s character.

6.4 CLEARING AND SAFING At this stage the primary concern is to stop the continued decay of the urban heritage, and also to make it as safe as currently possible for visitors and residents to walk among the old houses. already been carried out by locals in clearing away rubbish and piles of collapse, making the old streets and passages between buildings accessible again. • The current condition of Salalah as a semi-inhabited quarter means that modern utilities, such as there are, have been integrated in a haphazard and informal manner. Water conduits, power cables and telephone lines have been laid on the ground or along walls and obstruct the passages and the views of the settlement. In some cases they can also pose a hazard when walking around the settlement during darkness and twilight hours. • Structural defects and ruinous buildings pose a danger to people walking the streets of the settlement. Performing essential maintenance in consolidating foundations and collapsing roofs should be carried out immediately to guarantee both the safety of the people as well as preserving the architecture. Over 3/4 of Salalah’s heritage buildings are either severely modified with modern materials or in a ruinous state of collapse. In many instances the community makes use of the ruinous structures for a variety of activities, though the precarious condition of these buildings makes walking around within or on top of them extremely hazardous. Ceilings and walls of old buildings collapse regularly, posing a severe threat to the people living within and around them.

SANITATION (WASTE AND SEWAGE): Waste disposal systems and sanitation are some of the most pressing issues for the inhabitants of Salalah. In many of the older houses septic tanks are attached to the side of the house - these have to emptied and cleared periodically, the stench of which is highly unpleasant. This situation partly the product of the informal nature whereby labourers are renting living space in houses owned by Omani landlords, thus leading to severe overpopulation, it is also the responsibility of the local


Priority Measures

authorities to make sure that sufficient housing is available for the workforce. The provision of adequate sewage disposal systems and canalisation by the authorities should go without mentioning. In some parts of old Salalah provision has been made for rubbish bins and containers, and yet many of the inhabitants still engage in dumping their waste over their neighbour’s wall, either because they live too far from the nearest container or because they feel no need to modify their behaviour. In addition to education and informing the community, the authorities will also needs to be much stricter in enforcing existing legislation and guidelines.

TRANSPORT AND VEHICULAR ACCESS Vehicular access is one of the main issues for many Omanis who want to be able to leave their vehicles close to their place of residence. The street plan of old Salalah is, for the most part, sufficiently generously proportioned to allow for easy one-way transit and there is ample parking space, at both Friday mosques and in adjacent streets. It is envisaged that special parking permits for residents will encourage visitors to leave their cars further outside of the residential part of the old quarter and there not encumber the ease of access for the inhabitants and keeping traffic levels manageable.

6.5 SIGNAGE Signage is a key tool for the management of responsible access to heritage sites. Signage would be a simple and effective method of communication between the Salalah residents, the government and other stakeholders, who own and manage the site, and the visitors who access the site and its surroundings for touristic, natural, environmental and heritage experience. Falling into 3 key categories – advisory, directional and interpretive – signage will provide: • the necessary welcome to the site; • codes to uphold residents’ privacy; • encouragement to experience significant qualities of the site through its interpretation; • establish vital guidance to safe experiencing of the site and its attractions.

Advisory signage will provide general information regarding what to expect, destinations and attractions, facilities and support, general guidance on responsible access, behaviour and

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experiencing, and how to access more focused information. To make people make their own judgement and choice, typically such signage will take the form of popular and accessible Arabic and English text, and simple diagrammatic maps, illustrations and universal signage to convey the information. Such signage will help visitors with general information and guidance regarding safe use of the site, and to be aware of hazards within the specific natural and heritage circumstances of Salalah. Tourist-related facilities will be appropriately highlighted, providing a sense of their networked nature across the site. As Salalah is an inhabited site, the importance of providing general guidance towards responsible behaviour within an Islamic context needs to be highlighted here. Directional signage will identify defined routes and trails, and support visitors to and along the routes. However, it will also identify routes and areas which are beyond public access, either for the privacy of local residents or for ensuring visitor safety. Given the fluid nature of settlement use by its residents over the annual and diurnal cycle and the state of preservation of the heritage fabric, such directional signage would require reviewing on a regular basis. Providing direction to tourist facilities – rest rooms, sitting areas, refectories, etc., and waymarking – will be part of the directional signage, as will be any definite restrictions regarding barring of access/passage due to considerations of visitor safety and hazardous conditions, as well as to ensure the privacy of the local residents. The latter forms a key consideration of the signage rationale and has been highlighted by the local residents as a critical issue for consideration. Consideration of areas where strict privacy would need to be observed is integral to the master plan development. Accordingly, the master plan has sought to consolidate areas of private dwellings, ensuring that privacy could be observed with effective and minimal signposting. Interpretative signage will provide information regarding the significance of the site and its touristic, urban, landscape, architectural and intangible qualities. This set of signage will provide information regarding the history and social character of the site (e.g., development of Salalah over time, its social makeup, the diverse economic communities that constitute it), specific events and rituals, and architectural and urban characteristics that make the site unique (e.g., specific dwellings and their history and character, expression of the Standard Hazard Warning Signage Unobtrusive waymarking carved into stone social structure in architecture, urban components of the economy and livelihood, etc.). The growth of the Salalah Tourism Festival, which takes place annually in July during Khareef, is becoming increasingly popular for visitors from within Oman and the wider GCC region. As such it should be expected that a than ever growing number of people will visit Salalah and its heritage quarters. For this purpose additional information could be provided by the use of a smartphone app which can react to QR (quick response) codes located at specific location throughout the settlement.


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Heritage Management & Urban Renewal Plan

7 HERITAGE MANAGEMENT & URBAN RENEWAL PLAN

7.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter outlines a proposal for the urban renewal of old Salalah. The fieldwork and subsequent analysis determined that the current state of the architectural heritage of the Salalah al-Wusta and Gharbiya is, to a very large extent, in too advanced a state of dilapidation, collapse or so heavily modified that very little original fabric remains to be preserved. However, this is not to say that the urban fabric is beyond saving. Old Salalah is a densely populated urban quarter and as such should be integrated more fully into the urban landscape of the city as a whole, provided with modern utilities and facilities. This proposal aims to retain the general urban morphology of the old quarters, and also to increasing habitability and quality of housing to a modern standard. A successful and well-developed urban renewal project for Salalah’s heritage quarters will necessarily require the participation of other institutions, in particular Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Regional Municipalities and the Municipality of Salalah.

7.2 REGIONAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT PLAN The focus on economic as well as ecological sustainability proposed by the authors’ heritage management plans dictates that the conservation of the heritage sites must, to a relevant degree, be able to fund itself rather than continuously depend on public funds. This document proposes not to treat individual sites of heritage interest in isolation, but instead, to create a regional strategy whereby the heritage management programs implemented at any given location within Salalah and the broader region complement one another. In particular visitors and

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tourists should be given a wider range of experiences so as to encourage them to visit a variety of sites rather than a single exemplary one. The following sites are the core locations of heritage and tourism interest in the region and should as such be integrated into the regional strategy. It is recommended that, as infrastructure improves and visitor numbers rise, this plan should be expanded to include other communities and sites in order to broaden its impact:

MIRBĀT One of the best preserved traditional towns in the region is the small coastal settlement of Mirbāt, located about 70km to the east of Salalah on a small cape protruding into the Arabian Sea. This small community was also documented in the course of this project for MHC, and the data gained informs many of the measures proposed here. Mirbāt, though also suffering from dilapidation and decay, is unequally better preserved than Salalah and has the potential for being adapted and restored to receive larger numbers of visitors as well as provide sea-front housing to local families. There already is a large 5 star Marriott resort in the near vicinity of the town and current projects to establish a number of abalone farms along the coast might provide opportunities for rising employment numbers. In conjunction with the urban enhancement measures proposed in the accompanying volume, the authors believe that Mirbāt could become a valued destination for both visitors as well as young professionals.

SUMHARAM (KHAWR RORI) The ancient site of Sumharam, located around 27km from Mirbāt on the seasonal estuary of the Wādi Darbat, is one of the most famous archaeological sites of Dhofar and Oman as a whole. Dating to the 1st century BCE and active until around the 5th century, it is one of the prime exponents of the region’s ancient frankincense trade and pre-Islamic urbanism. The settlement of Sumharam was a heavily fortified urban core with off-set walls, albarranastyle towers and a principal gate house, as well as a number of smaller postern gates. Urbanistically it contained storehouses, temples, dwellings, and potentially also the palace of a ruler, and is surprisingly distinct from modern dhofari towns in its tight-nit cohesiveness. This suggest either the possibility of a single tribal grouping inhabiting the town, or a less tribally organised society in general.


Heritage Management & Urban Renewal Plan

WĀDI DARBAT This is one of the most famous and largest wādis in southern Oman, well known and much visited for its lakes and verdant flanks. The forests of the Jebel Qara attract many visitors, in particular from the GCC countries and during the khareef (Monsoon) season.

TAQAH The town of Taqah was in the past a small town and trading post with a fort, customs house and palm grove. More recently a series of large resort development along the coast have brought in large numbers of tourists, as well as expatriate labourers. Here, again, it is recommended that the encouragement of the visiting community to travel beyond the confines of the resorts.

AL-SADH The small coastal town of al-Sadh is located within a narrow wādi further east from Mirbāt. While this small community is difficult to reach due to its remote location, the grand architecture there could also attract visitors in a manner similar to that of Mirbāt.

7.2 CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES From a conservational standpoint Salalah poses a number of important challenges to the management and preservation of the architectural heritage. The authors’ goals are, first and foremost, the sustainability of all its projects from both a fiscal as well as an ecological point of view. This requires that in the long term the heritage is able to generate value, either in the direct form of tourism and visitors, or indirectly, by providing jobs and encouraging economic dynamism and growth. In their current condition, Salalah’s heritage quarters are, for all intents and purposes, an informal settlement which in some cases has taken on slum-like conditions. The lack of sewage disposal, running water, and also the lack of adequate waste disposal in an area of such high population density currently makes the notion of a tourism attraction unlikely. This should be taken into account with the current development of the al-Haffa development plan, which will bring wealthy

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Master Plan

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foreign visitors into the close vicinity of Salalah’s heritage areas. An additional challenge and the large numbers of people, mostly expatriate workers from South Asia, who currently inhabit the area. This community forms the economic backbone of Salalah, contributing enormously to the city’s revenue and labour resources. Their permanence at the core of the city should be protected and encouraged, as it permits them to carry out their work without the need for transport and long travel times. The shops, markets, restaurants and other businesses of this community are now part of Salalah’s economic fabric and are used by Omanis as much as by expatriates. The two biggest concerns for the current condition of Salalah’s heritage quarters are the following: • The very high density of population, resulting from the lack of available housing for the very large expatriate community. As old houses are becoming more and more dilapidated due to lack of maintenance by landlords, tenants are forced to move into ever more cramped conditions. In some cases this has forced up to 150 people to live in a single house originally built for just one family. This situation is effectively only the result of the lack of care of the houses’ owners, as there are dozens of large ruined houses that could be made available for habitation. The authors believe that the authorities should provide sensitively designed low-budget housing on empty/ abandoned plots within Salalah to relieve the demographic pressure on residents and providing revenue from rents. This must be coupled with the enforcement of guidelines and policies which


Heritage Management & Urban Renewal Plan

regulate these communities • As function of the informal nature of these communities and their high demographic density the waste disposal and sanitary conditions within the settlement are deplorable. The total lack of canalisation for sewage and black water run-off generates a serious stench as well as being a severe health hazard. In conjunction with the close proximity of the inhabitants this may encourage the fast spread of pathogens. It is therefore stated that the urge for the rapid insertion of functional canalisation connected to the city’s utilities network is essential. This can be done with comparative ease and at low cost as no major roadways would need to be cut open. The roads in Salalah al-Wusta and Gharbiya are currently not paved.

7.3 CITY-WIDE HERITAGE MANAGEMENT STRATEGY

policy for a city the size of Salalah, with over 200k inhabitants, cannot remain within the exclusive pursue of a single ministerial institution. The authors therefore propose the development of a much more extensive urban development strategy for Salalah which takes into account the city’s main concerns: A growing population of Omanis which need to be integrated into the private sector job market • The touristic potential of Salalah as a seaside resort • The historical value of Salalah’s cultural heritage visible at the world-famous site of al-Balid and the various heritage quarters • The large expatriate population which forms the economic back-bone of Salalah and currently inhabits and maintains as best as possible the architectural heritage of the city • The growing number of domestic and international tourists (300k in 2016) who will come to Salalah to witness not only the Khareef, but also the ancient city and life within it

The team was tasked with the development of a heritage management plan for two of Salalah’s heritage areas, while other areas, such as al-Haffa were being fast-tracked for full scale tourism development. Considering that a-Haffa’s traditional architecture is in much better condition than that of Salalah it is difficult to understand why there was no heritage management plan was required for al-Haffa. This situation highlights the needs for a much more holistic development strategy for Salalah, especially in view of the national tourism strategy which is being promoted in recent years. We therefore propose a closer alignment of ministerial interests as well as an increased level of cooperation between the relevant institutions. It should go without saying that an urban development

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7.3 SALALAH URBAN RENEWAL PLAN It is understood that the city of Salalah, and in particular its heritage quarters, require a much more comprehensive and detailed set of studies than this short project could provide. The fullscale socio-economic and urbanistic study required in order to provide a complete urban renewal roadmap for the capital of Dhofar did not fall within the scope of this heritage management project, but it is nevertheless possible to outline some of the principle issues which need to be addressed in order to safeguard Salalah’s architectural heritage and perhaps provide it with a sustainable future: • Firstly, the increased habitability of heritage quarters known as Salalah al-Wusta and Gharbiya, with the aim of improving living conditions in this area and improving its economic development. In the long term an increased value of the heritage quarter can also benefit from the influx of visitors into the recently re-developed quarter of al-Haffa. • Secondly, the retention of as much of the original fabric as possible, but especially the preservation of the settlement’s original morphology, street patterns, dwelling sizes and open spaces. The goal should NOT be the demolition and erasure of the vernacular environment in substitution for modern high-rise apartment blocks as has been done elsewhere in Salalah.

UTILITIES The provision of modern urban utilities for the centre of Salalah should be implemented without delay and to a contemporary standard. The surrounding urban envelope of Salalah has well-developed canalisation, running water and electricity to which the heritage quarter should be connected. The distances to the existing infrastructure are comparatively short, never more than 200m, and could thus be inserted at a minimal cost. In conjunction with the construction of the utilities network it is proposed the provision of public rest-room facilities distributed throughout the settlement in order to provide the necessary service prior to the re-development of the housing units. Depending on the standard to which the housing will be developed, these rest-room facilities can take on a more, or less, permanent character.

TRANSPORT AND ACCESSIBILITY Transport and vehicular access within the vernacular quarters of Salalah is currently not regulated in any way. Cars and trucks can drive and park anywhere, and as roads are not paved a large amount


Heritage Management & Urban Renewal Plan

of dust is generated which makes the public display of wares almost impossible. It is therefore proposed that the paving in interlocking concrete blocks for all those areas that are to be accessible by vehicle, and limiting other thoroughfares to pedestrian access. If this is done in a responsible manner the quality of life in the quarters will rise substantially and, consequentially, also the value of the properties in the area.

PUBLIC SPACES The inhabitants of old Salalah have naturally found ways of making the open spaces and alleyways of the town habitable and useful to the community in various way. A number of cafés and restaurants have been established in shaded areas, under trees or on terraces. These contribute significantly to the economic growth of the area and eateries provide a service which many of the cramped houses cannot. Cooking space is effectively a luxury in many cases. Informal markets are held on most afternoon once the heat of the sun is less intense. These offer a variety of goods in different areas of the town, with some areas specialising on fresh fish, vegetables , or clothing. These markets are not entirely contiguous and their informal nature means that they expand, contract and adapt to the needs of the customers and the available goods. In addition to providing an absolutely essential service to both the Omani and expatriate communities, these markets form the social backbone of the community. Additionally, they provide the kind of ‘authentic’ experience which many foreign visitors expect. With the addition of crafts to products on display a significant additional revenue stream could be opened up. We strongly recommend to retain these markets and to provide them with additional facilities such as shading, electric light and a more clearly delineated display area. This could be achieved by differential paving or elevated platforms. The provision of additional greenery and natural shading by planting low-maintenance trees like Ghaf (Prosopis cineraria), Acacia (Acacia ehrenbergiana), Sea Grape (Coccoloba uvifera), Coconut palm (Cocos nucifera), Papaya (Carica papaya) and Tamarind (Tamarindus indica).

FACILITIES AND SERVICES Salalah’s vernacular quarters have largely been neglected by the city’s planning authorities for, as yet, unclear reasons. While there has been a certain amount of private development, with some landlords building new apartment blocks and multi-storey housing units, the urban environment of the town has so far not been brought up to standard. Provisions could easily be made for a doctor’s surgery, pharmacies and other community essentials.

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As part of the long term aim of gradually transforming the vernacular quarters of Salalah into a normal part of the city, there will be an expected influx of families and consequently a need for additionally facilities such as schools and childcare centres.

HOUSING AND RESIDENTIAL AREAS The future of Salalah’s vernacular heritage is predicated upon the habitability of its traditional quarters and ancient houses. While in most cases any form of habitation is preferable to complete abandonment as this aids in maintenance, the lack of investment on the hand of the owners, coupled with the low financial status of tenants has created a situation in which the houses are becoming structurally unsound as beams and walls are giving way under the increased weight concrete and cement additions and unsound modifications. This is not only of concern from a heritage management stand point, but it is above all a major security concern for the tenants. It is understood that it will not be possible to save and conserve every vernacular building in Salalah, and with this in mind this plan considers the reconstruction of modern houses on the plots of currently ruined structures. Many sites are currently lying derelict, being used for the most part as rubbish heaps due to the lack of formal waste disposal. These sites should be cleared and, where possible, purchased by the relevant government institutions (i.e. Ministry of Housing) and rebuilt in a heritage sensitive manner. That is to say, that new housing and residential spaces provided should not exceed a maximum of three stories and should conform to the proportions and overall aspect of Salalah’s vernacular architecture.


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7.4 SALALAH AL-WUSTA In addition to the more general measure proposed above the following sections will outline the specific interventions suggested for Salalah and Wusta and Gharbiya. The authors propose to roughly divide al-Wuasta into three interconnected hubs serving various requirements of Salalah’s community. The areas comprised by zones F, J, G K should bear an emphasis on the workers and their requirements, in particular looking towards housing and markets. Area N and parts of M could comprise the cultural hub, parts of which are already in existence or under construction. And finally the consolidation of the ‘commercial hub’ which is made up of areas O, P which is to impart training in small-scale production and the service industry.

GARDENS, PARKING AND OPEN SPACES Salalah al-Wusta is the larger and also the more populous of the two documented settlement quarters. The majority of the markets are located here, as are the two principal mosques in the heritage area. As such al-Wusta sees a high level of activity and pedestrians as well as vehicular traffic which will need to be managed to some extent. Additionally, it is proposed that the redevelopment of residential space to accommodate a larger number of people and also to relieve pressure on overpopulated sectors. One of the core spaces of al-Wusta is the large open area adjacent to Mosque D1. This enormous and dusty open space has been paved to serve as a parking area, but its large size and complete lack of shade makes the space effectively unusable for anything other function. Occasionally, however, a large markis is set up for family celebrations such as weddings and funerals. The authors propose to create a green edge along the southern side of this parking area in order to create a barrier against the dust and provide some noise reduction the inhabitants of Area E. This measure would also aid in guiding traffic along a more controlled route and stop people from driving through this area at high speeds. The area called D3 on the plan is currently just a large expanse of un-paved ground, used by some local businesses as a dump for construction materials and waste. In addition to being an eyesore, this space is also the source for much of the dust blowing around the area. This are should be turned into a low-maintenance garden space, with arid vegetation and trees for shading. Additionally, a number of paves paths and open spaces should be provided for the aforementioned family celebrations and their tents. Similarly areas I3 and O1 should also be treated in order to provide more natural shading, control


Heritage Management & Urban Renewal Plan

of through-traffic and noise reduction. Here it is suggested that the extension of the already existing garden and reducing the large parking area providing more varied and useful spaces for the community. Additionally, specific paths are to be marked out for vehicular traffic with distinctive paving. Number of streets and other open spaces will need to be enhanced in order to raise the quality of life in the quarter. In particular the open square located immediately north of Bait as-Sail (N4) should be redone, with the large power transformer building located in its middle either removed, buried or integrated into another already existing structure.

MARKETS AND INFORMAL TRADING One of the most interesting and appealing characteristics of Salalah al-Wusta are the informal evening markets that fill the streets and alleyways with traders and merchants. These markets are the product of necessity, as many local farmers and fishermen use this venue to sell their produce. There are no specifically assigned stalls or spaces, instead, the traders spread the wares on cloths and tarpaulins on the ground on the streets and within squares. The authors propose to retain this informal quality of the evening markets, as it provides an essential service to the community and could also serve as a tourist attraction in the future. It is, however, felt that it is essential to provide additional facilities to this activity: • The streets and open spaces must be paved and provided with drainage. Distinctive or differentiating types of paving can be used for transit spaces and those areas where the merchants can exhibit their wares. • Street lighting should be provided so that the markets can continue for longer in the evenings, thus providing greater revenue • Shading in the form of awnings and vegetation should be provided, especially on the larger squares • In some of the squares such as J12, J17 and M7 the paving should include post holes for the temporary construction of stalls and stands during markets or special events. These structures can be removed when necessary. While a degree of regulation will be necessary in order to best coordinate these markets, the authors strongly favour the community to carry out this regulation by itself, without too much central interference. The growth and increased range of the markets should be encouraged, but in such a manner as best serves the community.

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RESIDENTIAL IMPROVEMENTS In addition to all the measures already suggested in the previous chapter, such as improved sanitation, waste management and the provision of utilities such as running water and electricity, the future of Salalah’s heritage quarters depends on the inhabitants as much as much as it depends on the quality of its heritage buildings. The current high density of population is to no small extent the consequence of the collapse of many of the older houses, forcing people to move into the available space. All traditional buildings currently under workers tenancy should be assessed and upgraded with basic facilities to match normal housing standards and health & safety requirements. In particular units such as P2, O22, C6 are exemplary, but not exclusive, of this condition. We therefore propose the purchasing of ruined houses and empty plots either by the local authorities of relevant ministries in order to provide additional housing to both expatriate workers as well as Omani families.

COMMUNAL FACILITIES In addition to commercial and residential improvements it is proposed that the development and insertion into the traditional fabric of a a number of cultural institutions related to education and community building. The former al-Hakim complex, located in what is now C1-C3, should be rebuilt to its former proportions, exception the portion now occupied by the modern house C2. The function of the complex should be dedicated to the community by housing educational and health related facilities. It has an ideal location for this, placed next to the mosque and with ample parking space available close by. A similar institution, but rather more geared towards Salalah’s cultural heritage, could be promoted in the case of Bait as-Sail (N4). This grand former merchant house has suffered a partial collapse on the northern side, but its otherwise in a relatively good condition. In conjunction with the already existing Ghassani family library (N7), a museal and meeting space at N4 could serve as a significant catalyst for the cultural and development of Salalah in general and this area in particular. The adaptive re-use of a traditional Dhofari merchant house is illustrated in the accompanying plans, displaying an emphasis on the communal aspect of the building and the integration of modern materials and uses into a heritage envelope.


Heritage Management & Urban Renewal Plan

7.5 SALALAH GHARBIYA In principle all measures suggested for Salalah al-Wusta will also need to implemented at Salalah Gharbiya. In particular the provision of utilities, waste management and sewage treatment. Are aspects that need to be prioritised as soon as possible. The infrastructural improvements required in Salalah al-Gharbiya have already been outlined in previous sections and essentially the same as those that affect al-Wusta, though it should be noted that Gharbiya’s condition is marginally better. The areas adjoining the main roads have all been built up with modern structures and building R1 is the only one of these still retaining its old original aspect. The pedestrian connection between both sides of the settlement should be improved by regulating traffic speeds along the al-Nahdah avenue and the integration of zebra crossings, as it is currently barely possible to cross this street which divides the two principal settlement areas of Salalah. The creation of a civic garden adjacent to R25, in combination with a pedestrian crossing, should create a sense of continuity with the expanded park area at O1. The principal focus in Salalah Gharbiya ought to be the preservation of the historic road and path structure throughout the settlement. Additional parking spaces should be provided within the residential areas, with the large parking areas along the al-Nahdah Avenue being made smaller and planting more greenery. In its current condition the al-Nahdah Avenue serves only as a highway towards the seafront and thus cleaves the city into two separate halves.

NEW RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS Salalah al-Gharbiya is much less densely built up than al-Wusta and appears to have a significantly lower population as well. Except along the main road there are practically no businesses within the settlement, and thus there is relatively little traffic. It is therefore proposed that while Salalah alWusta should have a strengthened commercial role with its markets, shops and cafĂŠs, Gharbiya has the making of a quiet residential neighbourhood. The housing plots have comparatively large sizes and would allow for the development of generously proportioned family housing and the still extant heritage architectural offer some interesting design opportunities which the municipality should embrace.

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The provision of low-level street lighting, adequate paving and additional greenery will make the street spaces of Salalah’s heritage quarters active into the evening and the hours of darkness, increasing activity and extending the business hours in the quarters.

CIVIC FACILITIES Keeping in mind a residential expansion of Salalah Gharbiya it will be necessary to provide the inhabitants with the necessary civic facilities to encourage habitation of the quarter. In particular the provision of educational and training facilities for children and workers are considered essential, as is the availability of medical services such as a doctors surgery and pharmacies. Subject to water quality the authors envisage the restoration/rehabilitation of the public wells in the quarter. in the case that these are not fit for human consumption the water could be used responsibly for the creation of urban gardens and agriculture. This was traditionally already done, with many of the old houses having small gardens that could provide some basic fruit and vegetable staples.


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a1

ZaraΚ of Дārat al-Bilād (ManaΉ Oasis). In UNESCO World Heritage Centre (eds.) Conservation of Earthen Structures in the Arab States: 75-87. Grenoble: CRATerre ENSAG.

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a2 PHOTOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTATION

This section contains the complete number of fully documented structures/units at MirbÄ t. Where possible all the floors of the relevant building are shown in plans, as well as a number of representative images. At Salalah our of a total of 477 sites 37 structures and spaces were documented in their entirety, with the remainder being documented only photographically due, either, to their state of habitation, their advanced state of ruination of also their modern (non-heritage) character.


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 123123

UNIT: A22


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UNIT: C1


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 125125

UNIT: C3


126

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UNIT: C5


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 127127

UNIT: C6


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UNIT: F1


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 129129

UNIT: G13/G14


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UNIT: J1


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 131 131

UNIT: J13


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UNIT: K3


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 133133

UNIT: M13


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UNIT: M15/M16


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 135135

UNIT: N4


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UNIT: N29/N30


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 137137

UNIT: O22


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UNIT: P2


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 139139

UNIT: P7


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UNIT: P8


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 141 141

UNIT: P9


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UNIT: R7


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 143143

UNIT: R27 - WELL


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UNIT: S14


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 145145

UNIT: S20


146

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UNIT: S22


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 147147

UNIT: T20


148

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UNIT: T22a


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 149149

UNIT: T22b


150

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UNIT: T22c


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 151 151

UNIT: T23


152

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UNIT: U1


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 153153

UNIT: V1/V2


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UNIT: V3


Appendix 2: photographic documentation 155155

UNIT: V4

Profile for ArCHIAM

Salalah al-Wusta & Gharbiya: Dhofar Governorate  

This Heritage Management Plan contains a complete vision for the sustainable redevelopment and revitalization for the settlements of al-Wust...

Salalah al-Wusta & Gharbiya: Dhofar Governorate  

This Heritage Management Plan contains a complete vision for the sustainable redevelopment and revitalization for the settlements of al-Wust...

Profile for archiam
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