Zanzibar Stone Town: Expiry date over?

Zanzibar has to get its act together and preserve its historical building, demands the UNESCO World Heritage foundation. Strongly they are criticising the new building of the Park Hyatt Hotel at the seafront „as encroaching the public beach“ and having „a significant adverse impact on the silhouette“ of Sansibar.

My story about the issue was published in SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG on 9 June 2016.

Here it is, together with photos to highlight the drastic situation.


Electric cable chaos and urban decay: the face of Zanzibar today – Photo: Heidi Fröhlich


Njia fungwa – road cloased: a new one-way traffic ring thru town shall ease the situation, but will it?


Dilapidated buildings in the capital, no public funds to restore them


Morbid charme, yes, but what will come next? – Photo: Heidi Fröhlich


Unusual pool guests: a UNESCO site inspection at the Park Hyatt Sansibar earlier this year. Officials criticise the proximity of pool and bulding to the public beach


Too high? The Hyatt was built „two stories above the agreed matrix“, claims the UNESCO


Sansibar downtown centre: left the terrace of the popular Taperia Bar, shops on the right. Not all renovations are done thoughtful


The man who guards Stone Town’s heritage: Dr. Issa Makarani with renovation plans for the collapsed national monument, the House of Wonder


And here the culprit: former Sultan’s palace Beit al Ajaib, now a museum, had to be closed to visitors because it might collapse any time. The right terraces have fallen down already


The ruins of infamous slave trader Tippu-Tipp: It could be turned into a memorial against slavery, experts say, but it is for now almost beyond repair


Picturesque decay just like in Havanna, Cuba: Nobody wants gentrification but the old buildings have to be better managed to survive – Photo: Heidi Fröhlich