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 1994-2003)
Total amount approved: USD 154,167
For details, see page http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

November 1999: UNESCO mission;  May 2001: joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission ; September-October 2001: World Heritage Centre mission ; February 2002: World Heritage Centre experts mission;  June 2002: World Heritage Centre mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2003


During the World Heritage Centre mission to Yemen in June 2002, a meeting of all the partners involved in the preservation of Zabid was organised to define a modus-operandi and to co-ordinate all the actions to be undertaken to safeguard the city.  The elements necessary for the elaboration of a Preliminary Plan to safeguard and develop the Town of Zabid were also examined.  This Plan and its regulations for application, prepared with funding from the Netherlands Funds-in-Trust, was submitted to the authorities in December 2002, during a new Centre mission to Yemen.  An action plan, established by the Centre and defining the possible roles and respective responsibilities of all the actors at site, was approved by the GOHPCY.  The Centre also presented a proposal for the creation of a heritage house in Zabid as a future focal point for a technical and administrative unit responsible for the implementation of the urban conservation plan.  If the authorities should approve and support the creation of this Heritage House, UNDP would be willing to cover the costs linked to the recruitment of a United Nations volunteer to strengthen its staff.  During the December 2002 mission, it was noted that the condition of the town has remained unchanged and that there were no visible results at site.  The refuse collection project (financed by the German GTZ) has begun and a weekly market is under preparation on the esplanade of the Citadel.  The infrastructure projects have been delayed due to implementation difficulties, and are now foreseen for the second half of 2003 (drainage, paving, lighting).  The mission also observed the continuing lack of an administrative and technical structure in Zabid with adequate resources to ensure the co-ordination and monitoring of the different ongoing initiatives for the rehabilitation of the old town.  This uncertain situation risks compromising the efforts carried out by the Yemeni authorities in 2001, when a decree to halt of all new constructions was decided upon by the Government.  In April 2003, the Centre was informed that numerous sites for  construction works were still on-going in Zabid. 

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


Decision Adopted: 27 COM 12.4

Yemen: Historic Town of Zabid. Follow-up actions for the implementation of safeguarding measures

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Decides to approve US$ 40,000 from 2003 funds.

Decision Adopted: 27 COM 7A.20

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Noting that, despite the commitment and support of the Government, progress has been very slow in addressing the threats that had justified the inscription of the property on the List of World Heritage in Danger,;

2. Urges the Government of Yemen to take immediate measures towards the enforcement of the ban on new constructions within the Old City decided in 2001, and the strengthening of the local bodies in charge of the conservation of the property, including the local General Organization for the Preservation of the Historic Cities of Yemen (GOPHCY) Unit, possibly through the project for the establishment of a Heritage House in Zabid;

3. Recommends to the State Party to adopt and start implementing, on a temporary basis, the Preliminary Urban Conservation Plan prepared by the World Heritage Centre in December 2002, together with its regulations;

4. Requests the State Party and the World Heritage Centre to continue working in close co-operation and in consultation with the local population and all other concerned actors and stakeholders, to finalize the Urban Conservation Plan and co-ordinate the efforts for the rehabilitation of the property;

5. Requests the State Party to provide to the World Heritage Centre by 1 February 2004 a report on the progress made on the above recommendations for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 28th session in 2004;

6. 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: