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Portuguese Heritage in the UAE: Authenticity in Archaeology and Tourism

Adriaan De Man ()
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Adriaan De Man: United Arab Emirates University

A chapter in Innovative Approaches to Tourism and Leisure, 2018, pp 3-15 from Springer

Abstract: Abstract The relatively short-lived, early modern Portuguese military presence along the Omani coast, but also that of the nowadays United Arab Emirates, has left few physical remains. Some forts have been partially excavated, whilst others seem to have been so heavily reconstructed that their original layout remains invisible. As a result, they have little impact on the visitor experience. This paper seeks to provide a framework that renders these forts, and the narratives around them, pertinent in terms of authenticity. A second step deals with their integration as a potentially distinctive heritage resource. Both approaches need to ponder whether such structures are to become major tourist attractions, which seems unfeasible in the near future, yet destinations may still capitalize on them as part of an integrated marketing strategy. As an exercise, the following text can build on comparable examples, ranging from certain prehistoric sites to forms of intangible heritage, as their commodification faces, to some extent at least, similar challenges. In any case, in the heavily Dubai-centered tourism industry of the UAE, the sustainable use of cultural niche areas along the coast does fit well the national design for diversification.

Keywords: Heritage management; Forts; UAE tourism; Authenticity; Branding (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-67603-6_1

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