1) Assistant Professor, Canadian University of Dubai, School of Architecture and ID,


As being one of the seven emirates that forms the United Arab Emirates since the year 1971, history of human settlements in the Arabian Peninsula dates back to mid 2000 BC. Apart from the archeological sites and tombs, starting from the 1800s, earliest settlements of the town of Dubai start to establish at the shorelines of the Gulf Region.

Bur Dubai and Deira are the areas that you can still find the edifices from these times. Being a port town, Dubai starts to expand through Dubai Creek as the trade between Iran and sub-continent India improves during the early 1900s. Most of the remaining historic buildings were built during this period as residences of merchant families. These traditional residential buildings [1], mostly built with locally available coral stone, still sets a good example of such architecture with their courtyards, “Majlis” areas, Barjeels (wind tower) and gypsum decorated gates.

Dubai Municipality Architectural Heritage Department has been restoring these historic buildings since the year 1991. Although the buildings relatively newly renovated, material decay on the facades are visible and needs sustainable maintenance.

This paper aims to document and evaluate the material decay on historic building facades in Deira and Bur Dubai region of Dubai, based on the site studies during 2011 and 2012.


Keywords: Coral Stone Masonry, Façade Decay, Bastakiya