RAK Urban Design


Ras Al Khaimah

United Arab Emirates


* as SVA(Durban) in assocation with SVA(Cape Town)

The city of Ras Al Khaimah is one of the oldest permanent settlements on the Arabian Peninsula. As a seafaring port on Straits of Hormuz, the historic city of old Ras Al Khaimah remains fairly well preserved in parts. We were commissioned to carry out an initial urban study of the peninsula precinct situated adjacent to the Arabian Sea and the entry to the creek, the historic point of entry into the city from the sea. A survey and location of important buildings determined the connections between these points. Within this framework an urban matrix was developed as a basis for proposals to reinforce the fabric with restoration and interventions to preserve the unique cultural environments.

The connection between the historic city and the new developing Ras Al Khaimah, is on a manmade peninsula across portion of the creek. This causeway is the linkage between the old and new city, however this piece of land has remained undeveloped for some years. As part of the design of the RAK Administration building located within this area, we were asked to extend our design to incorporate the overall precinct in an urban design framework for the inner city area.