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 https://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 https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/611/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

2002 and 2003, international expertise

December 2004, World Heritage Centre

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Deterioration of the traditional urban fabric; loss of integrity and authenticity; socio-economic degradation.

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2005

Within the framework of the International Assistance Request submitted by the Yemeni authorities and approved by the World Heritage Committee at its 27th session (UNESCO, 2003), a Stakeholders’ meeting was organized in December 2004, aiming at widening the consultation at the local level, at bringing together decision makers, representatives of the civil society, and international experts. The presence of the Minister of Culture and of the Director of the World Heritage Centre during parts of the meeting highlighted its importance and strengthened the position of the local authorities as well as their will to act in favour of the old city. It is expected that the impact of this meeting and of its recommendations will generate a number of activities towards the rehabilitation and economic revitalization of the city, which is in a very serious state of deterioration.

A Report on the State of Conservation of the Historic Town of Zabid, prepared by the General Organization for the Preservation of Historic Cities in Yemen (GOPHCY), was received by the World Heritage Centre in February 2005. As concerns the general state of conservation, this report declares that ‘compared with the previous UNESCO reports from 2001 to 2003, the situation has not really changed.’ It does predict, however, that the sewerage project will be completed by October 2005, that studies on the storm-water drainage and leveling of the streets and squares have been completed and that implementation of the works is due to start in April 2005. Restoration work is under way on a number of monuments (Bab El-Qurtub Gate, Al-Ashaer Mosque, Citadel). The local branch of GOPHCY is drafting a comprehensive action plan, due to be submitted for official approval before summer 2005, to solve the problem of illegal constructions by means of a long-term compensation scheme and the removal of such violations within the public spaces of the city.

The Urban Conservation Plan elaborated by UNESCO experts still misses some components, notably the implementation of the inventory. In the meantime, the Ministry of Public Works has finalized an Urban Development Plan which provides for a one km buffer zone, an articulation zone, and an area for the development of a new urban settlement on the north-eastern side of the city. This Plan has been adopted by means of a decree and it has to be completed with the detailed Conservation Plan within six months from the adoption of the decree (April 2005).

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


Decision Adopted: 29 COM 7A.19

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-05/29. COM/7A,

2. Recalling Decision 28 COM 15A.20 taken at its 28th session (Suzhou, 2004),

3. Commends the State Party of Yemen on the progress it has made over the past year in halting illegal constructions,

4. Regrets, while appreciating the adoption of the urban development plan, that it does not integrate the urban regulations drafted for the historic core nor the conservation plan;

5. Strongly urges the State Party to complete and adopt the Conservation Plan;

6. Encourages the State Party to define, in cooperation with the World Heritage Centre, an action plan for the socio-economic revitalization of the city, thus helping in the safeguarding of the heritage, in implementing the recommendations of the Stakeholders’ Meeting for the safeguarding of the historic town of Zabid (Yemen, 13-15 December 2004);

7. Requests the State Party to submit, by 1 February 2006, a report on progress made in the implementation of the above recommendations, for examination by the Committee at its 30th session (Vilnius, 2006).

8. Decides to retain Historic Town of Zabid (Yemen) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 29 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined the of state of conservation reports of properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC-05/29.COM/7A and WHC-05/29.COM/7A.Add),

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