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Pearling Path

PROJECTS

Muharraq | Bahrain

The "Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy" was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in June 2012, giving the site international recognition for its historical significance. The site's inscription is based on the criterion that the combination of urban properties, fort, seashore, and oyster beds serves as an exceptional testimony to the pearling cultural tradition that thrived in the Arabian Gulf from the 2nd to early 20th centuries. Although the pearling industry has disappeared, these sites preserve the memory of the property and building traditions it promoted.

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Photo: Nour El Refai & Shaikh Ebrahim Center

The challenge of combining ancient foundations with tree roots

The project aimed to develop Pearl Path Public Squares in Muharraq, Bahrain, including 17 public spaces along the Pearling Pathway that feature trees for natural air-conditioning. TreeBuilders utilized the TreeParker system for the requested "Firetree" species, which boasts vibrant red blooms that contrast strikingly with the white surroundings. However, the ancient foundations are vulnerable to the tree species' aggressive root growth.

Improving green public spaces in Muharraq

 

A plan was devised to ensure that these trees would grow rapidly and healthily, creating a shaded environment without causing damage to the surroundings. The TreeParker system was implemented to give the trees room to grow and allow them to go hand in hand with the ancient foundations. 

In total, 202 trees were planted across 16 of the Pearl Path Public Squares. These public spaces, together with the trees, enhance the outdoor experience in Muharraq, offering gathering, recreation, leisure, and rest areas. The open spaces will undoubtedly contribute to improved general health perception, decreased stress levels, and more. 

Peaceful, green outdoor space

Visitors can embark on a unique journey through Bahrain's pearl trading history along the pathway, which spans approximately 2 miles (3.5 km) and is situated in southern Muharraq. Leading visitors from the beach to a grand merchant's house, the pathway vividly portrays Bahrain's rich history and its people through images and sounds. This site serves as a valuable tool for bolstering the Kingdom of Bahrain's global standing and showcasing it as a country with a well-preserved heritage and a protected identity. To this day, visitors enjoy a peaceful, green outdoor space.

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