Reem Habis

Witnessing Timelessness

revitalizing heritage tourism in the ruins of Saudi arabia

Well-known historic sites in Saudi Arabia, such as Historic Jeddah, are designated as heritage, meaning they benefit from the luxury of protection. However, in the Aseer region, there are over 4500 unprotected modest sites that provide an integral sense of identity and authenticity to the culture of the entire Kingdom. The absence of preservation guidelines has left these sites vulnerable to indiscriminate developments attempting revitalization. Undesignated heritage sites must be safeguarded and rehabilitated rather than neglected and left at risk of further decay, especially with the encroachment of tourism.

To preserve the sites’ authenticity and existing structures, this thesis proposes a collection of non-invasive physical and digital design strategies that aim to revitalize these unprotected but culturally significant sites with minimally undisruptive interventions. By repurposing these structures to contemporary uses, such as open-air museums, they shall remain active, integral to the community, and seamlessly integrated into the contemporary urban fabric. 


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