The 44th session of the World Heritage Committee took place last month, and 37 new global sites were to the lengthy list of UNESCO’s list of gems to safeguard around the globe. 15 of the newly announced sites are right here in the region.
Finding roots in the 1950s following Egypt’s call to assist them protect ancient Egyptian treasures following their inundation by the Nile, this list primarily aims at preserving places that were being “threatened with destruction not only by the traditional causes of decay, but also by changing social and economic conditions”.
The Middle East is usually recognised for harbouring some of the world’s most precious and unique places on earth—some carrying religious, social and historical importance. Although the last few decades have witnessed some turmoil, with many sites having suffered and been harsh victims of instability, this effort through UNESCO is among the most sustainable way to prevent any further damage.
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To celebrate we rounded up the names of the 15 natural and cultural sites in the Gulf region that have made it into UNESCO’s World Heritage list this year.
Cultural Sites of Al Ain (UAE)
Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Saudi)
Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah (Saudi)
Rock Art in the Hail Region (Saudi)
Al Ahsa Oasis (Saudi)
Hima Cultural Area (Saudi)
Qalat al-Bahrain – Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun (Bahrain)
Pearling site in Muharraq City (Bahrain)
Dilmun Burial Mounds (Bahrain) Bahla Fort (Oman)
Archaeological Sites of Bat, Al-Khutm and Al-Ayn (Oman)
Land of Frankincense (Oman)
Aflaj Irrigation Systems of Oman (Oman)
Ancient City of Qalhat (Oman)
Al Zubarah Archaeological Site (Qatar)
Main image: As-Salt, Jordan