Book Chapter

Urban heritage in the Middle East: Heritage, tourism and the shaping of new identities


The MENA region enjoys a rich urban heritage from modest rural settlements to the historic centres of bustling major cities that compliment a wealth of major Islamic monuments. As many historic settlements are threatened by the forces of globalisation, development pressures and urban growth, they are also becoming recognised as distinct tourism destinations that offer visitors not only a historic-town experience, but one with a sense of the exotic and an orientalist allure. Through an evaluation of different scenarios prevalent in urban heritage tourism in the region, this chapter examines the nature of the tourist experience and the ways in which tourism informs cultural heritage protection and impacts on local community well-being. The chapter also examines the link between urban heritage as a commodity that is marketed as a tourism product and its role in local or national identity formation. More specifically it considers the inherent conflict arising from notions of privacy embedded in the urban form of the Islamic city and the tourism-driven priorities of access, visibility and commercial opportunity.

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Orbaşlı, Aylin

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Architecture


Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-06-01

All rights reserved.

Related resources

This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Urban heritage in the Middle East: Heritage, tourism and the shaping of new identities
This RADAR resource is Part of Routledge handbook on tourism in the Middle East and North Africa [ISBN: 9781138651920] / edited by Dallen J. Timothy.


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