1.         Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen) (C 611)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1993

Criteria  (ii)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger   2000-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1994-2004)
Total amount approved: USD 159,167
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions


Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Urban Pressure; Lack of capacity in conservation techniques; Lack of management mechanism (including legislation); Lack of monitoring system; Lack of human or financial resources; Lack of institution co-ordination.

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2004

Within the framework of the International Assistance Request submitted by the Yemeni authorities and approved by the World Heritage Committee at its 27th session, in September-October 2003 a World Heritage expert architect carried out a mission to the World Heritage property of Zabid in order to improve, in close co-operation with the staff of the General Organization for the Preservation of Historic Cities (GOPHCY), the legal and technical aspects of the Preliminary Urban Conservation Plan prepared by the Secretariat in December 2002. The mission also provided an opportunity to start planning the organization of a meeting to coordinate the actions of all the stakeholders, tentatively scheduled for November 2004, and to discuss with the local authorities the possibility of establishing a "Heritage House of Zabid" as a special local Unit of GOPHCY.


With respect to the recommendations made by the Committee at its last session, the mission found that the illegal constructions referred to in previous reports, namely the hotel in front of the East gate and the foundations of the Public Works office building, are still in place, while the solid waste issue is not yet solved and new construction works in the historic city have not been halted. The state of conservation of some of the monuments, such as the Mosque Al-Ashaer, has also deteriorated. Outside the walls of the Old City, the Ministry of Public Works is enlarging the inter-regional road. The enlarging of this road could lead to the development of a spontaneous market outside the Old City, which would have a negative impact on the visual integrity of the property. The mission confirmed that the implementation of the Urban Conservation Plan developed in co-operation with the Centre over the past two years, including its regulations, would be the most appropriate means to improve the state of conservation of the property, starting by strengthening the local branch of GOPHCY.


At the time of drafting this report (April 2004), the Centre had not yet received the requested progress report from the State Party. However, the Secretariat has been recently informed that the Preliminary Urban Conservation Plan for the Old City may be finalized by June 2004 and submitted to the World Heritage Centre for consideration. The protocols for the financing of the running costs of the Heritage House are still under discussion between the GOPHCY and the Social Fund for Development (SFD).

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM


Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15A.20

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Notes the information provided by the World Heritage Centre on the current state of conservation of the property and the lack of progress in implementation of the recommendations made by the Committee in 2003 (Decision 27 COM 7A.20), notably in the completion and adoption of the Urban Conservation Plan, the halting and removal of illegal constructions, and the strengthening of the local Unit of the General Organisation for the Preservation of the Historic Cities of Yemen (GOPCHY);

2. Strongly urges the State Party to make every effort towards the rapid implementation of these actions, in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre;

3. Also urges the State Party, in particular, to finalise and adopt the Preliminary Urban Conservation Plan, together with its regulations, as soon as possible, and submit a report, by 1 February 2005, on the progress made to the World Heritage Centre for examination by the Committee at its 29th session in 2005;

4. Decides to retain the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 28 COM 15C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-04/28.COM/15A Rev),

2. Decides to maintain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: