1.         Bahla Fort (Oman) (C 433)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1987

Criteria  (iv)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    1988-present

Previous Committee Decisions  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/433/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1988-1988)
Total amount approved: USD 57,000
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/433/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

October 1988: ICOMOS mission; March 1994: UNESCO World Heritage Centre mission; December 1994: ICOMOS expert mission; May-June 1995; September 1996; October 1997; September-October 1998: expert missions; May 2001: World Heritage Centre mission;  November-December 2001: World Heritage Centre experts mission;  September 2002: World Heritage Centre mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/433/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003


A mission was sent by the Centre to the site from 17 to 19 September 2002. At that time, the site was still without proper technical supervision. The mission examined the ongoing conservation works, and set the priority for future action calling again for a quick appointment of a Chief Site Conservator. It appeared, moreover, that during the rainy season no maintenance works had been conducted. The mission also discussed the progress on the preparation of the Management Plan with all the concerned parties. This revised version of the first phase of the Management Plan was considered to be technically sound, and an adequate basis for the development of the full document. However, the need to involve all local stakeholders in the two foreseen consultative workshops was reiterated by the Centre’s mission. The Oman authorities have officially established a Steering Committee, including all Ministries concerned, as well as the police. To this day, it would seem that this Steering Committee has never met to review the Management Plan. Concerning the project for a new market, the Centre’s expert was able to meet with the Company entrusted with the design, and to sensitize it on the importance of preserving the traditional character of the local architecture. According to the proposal presented to the mission, the project for the new market would include the diversion of the truck traffic from the road currently adjacent to the Fort, thus considerably reducing pollution and acoustic impact. Furthermore, by letter of 22 October 2002, the Oman authorities informed the Centre that the Ministry of Heritage and Culture is co-ordinating with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to review the terms of reference for the project, taking into account the recommendations of the Centre’s expert. By letter of 11 March 2003, the Oman authorities informed the Centre that a Chief Conservator for the site has been re-appointed. Lastly, the Regional Training Seminar on the Conservation of Earthen Structures, organized by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture with the Centre and CRATerre and due to take place in March 2003, was postponed until the autumn 2003 due to the prevailing situation in the region. 

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


Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7A.19

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Commends the Oman authorities for the progress achieved in the preparation of the management plan and for having re-appointed a Chief Site Conservator;

2. Encourages the State Party to continue supporting the elaboration of the management plan, as well as the development of national capacity towards the establishment of a permanent management structure that will be responsible for the daily implementation of the Plan;

3. Invites the State Party to hold the first of the two workshops foreseen for the reviewing and development of the management plan, and to involve all concerned stakeholders, including representatives from the local population;

4. Reiterates the importance of ensuring that the project for the new market be developed in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre and Management Plan Team, and takes into account the character of the local vernacular architecture, including its traditional materials and construction techniques;

5. Requests ICOMOS to conduct an overall evaluation of the project for the new market and, as soon as available, of the final management plan, and to submit a report on the matter to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 for examination by the Committee at its 28th session in 2004;

6. Decides to consider the possibility of removing the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger at its 28th session in 2004 having taken into account all ICOMOS recommendations and whether or not the management plan is completed and adopted by the Oman authorities;

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

Decision Adopted: 27 COM 8B.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Following examination of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-03/27.COM/7A),;

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