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 https://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 https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/433/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

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

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

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

Information presented to the Bureau of the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations: At the twenty-second session of the Committee in 1998, the Secretariat presented the result of the third expert mission to Bahla Fort undertaken in September 1998. The mission reported that the situation at the site had improved in a satisfactory manner and the mission discussed with the authorities the possibility of reinforcing the cost-sharing approach used so far. The Committee, after examination of the state of conservation of the property, commended the Government of Oman for the actions taken for the preservation of the Fort. It requested the Secretariat to collaborate with the national authorities in the preparation of a five-year conservation plan for the entire oasis, for examination by the Committee at its twenty-third session.

New Information: Following the expert mission of September 1998, another mission took place from 27 February to 13 March 1999 to continue the monitoring of the conservation/restoration works carried out by the operational team (104 persons, including 97 site workers, led by two Moroccan architects). It also assisted the Ministry of National Heritage and Culture (MNHC) in the preparation of a Conservation Plan for the Fort, as well as of a Management Plan involving the co-operation of a number of other governmental bodies. The advancement of the works conducted in the Fort since the last mission was satisfactory, several parts of the smaller aisles being now sheltered and roofing in progress in a small section of the very large Fortress (Qasabah). To undertake structural studies, an engineer, seconded from the Moroccan Government, has joined the operational team. Furthermore, the photogrammetric team of the German Mining Museum made their site survey in Bahla in November 1998 and the resituated plans and photographs should be handed to the MNHC by the end of May 1999. An "Outline of Conservation Plan" was drafted during this mission, giving to the operational team a tool for preparing the detailed plan to be implemented on a short-term (two years) or mid-term (five years) basis. The methodological approach for the establishment of the “Management Plan for the Great Bahla” in close co-operation with all interested departments, has been discussed and agreed upon with the MNHC. It should lead to the completion of this plan within two years: the time when Bahla Fort would be declared to be «out of danger».

Action Required

The Bureau takes note of the progress made in the preparation of the five-year conservation plan. It will evaluate the progress after two years in order to assess if it can recommend the Committee to delete the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger. The Bureau recommends that the Committee at its twenty-third session, endorses this procedure. Moreover, the Bureau invites the Omani authorities to increase their financial contribution for the missions to enable the team of experts to continue assisting the national authorities at the site in implementing the five-year conservation plan.

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 1999

Summary of previous deliberations:

Twenty-second session of the Committee (paragraph number VII.18) Twenty-third session of the Bureau (paragraph number IV.13)

New information: The monitoring missions are proceeding regularly and now cover the preparation of the management plan of the site and of the surrounding oasis.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 23 BUR IV.A.13

The Bureau took note of the progress made in the preparation of the five-year conservation plan.  It will evaluate the progress after two years in order to assess if it can recommend the Committee to delete the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger.  The Bureau recommended that the Committee at its twenty-third session, endorse this procedure.  Moreover, the Bureau invited the Omani authorities to increase their financial contribution for the missions to enable the team of experts to continue assisting the national authorities at the site in implementing the five-year conservation plan.

Decision Adopted: 23 COM X.A.16

X.16 Bahla Fort (Oman)

The Secretariat reported that monitoring missions were proceeding regularly and covered the preparation of the management plan of the site and of the surrounding oasis. Restoration works were entirely financed by the Omani Government that, since 1993, invested an amount of more than six million US dollars.

The Mining Museum in Bochum, Germany, provided photogrammetric records of the Fort that are indispensable for the restoration work.

The Committee thanked the State Party for its decision to finance the monitoring missions and the full cost of the restoration activities. The Committee requested the State Party and the Centre to explore ways and means to accelerate the pace of implementation of the restoration programme.

The Committee, furthermore, recalled that the Bureau at its twenty-third session had decided to evaluate the progress after two years in order to assess if it can recommend the Committee to delete the site from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Committee decided to retain the property in the List of World Heritage in Danger.