Dubai is well known for its shopping and tourist activities. After the discovery of oil in the sixties, the city experienced an unprecedented construction boom. All buildings with various international fashion styles can be found in the city, ranging from high rise tower blocks, to five star hotels, and very attractive shopping malls. In order to provide sites for these new developments the bulldozer swept away many historical buildings and areas, therefore, unconsciously erased large chapters of Dubai's history. Today, when visiting the city it is hardly possible to feel that we are in an Arabic Islamic environment. We believe that one way of rediscovering the city cultural identity is to go back to its first roots and try to conserve and sustain them. This paper will try to raise the following question: How can urban conservation be a catalyst of regenerating theArabic-Islamic identity of Dubai? The Bastakia historical district at the heart of the city will be presented as case study of saving and sustaining the local character and identity of the city.