1.         Old City of Sana'a (Yemen) (C 385)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  1986

Criteria  (iv)(v)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger  N/A

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/385/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 1990-2000)
Total amount approved: USD 52,167
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/385/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds


Previous monitoring missions

1989: various UNESCO missions;  June 1998: monitoring mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/385/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2001

The international safeguarding campaign for the Old City of Sana’a, launched in 1986, obtained positive results, notably the establishment of infrastructure, paving of the streets, development of the Wadi Saïla and creation of a specialised body responsible for its protection.

However, at present, no safeguarding and urbanism plan has been elaborated and implemented. This deficiency has had worrying consequences, as for example, on the one hand, an uncontrolled spreading of the historical Souk towards the residential areas, and on the other, numerous new constructions using modern structures and materials.  These constructions are totally incompatible with the City, and of increasing height for residential buildings, resulting in the establishment in the city of several high-rise constructions, the height of which is in excess by several storeys, of the level of other parts of the Old City. 

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


The Bureau may wish to adopt the following decision:

“The Bureau requests the Yemeni authorities to take the necessary measures in order to immediately halt new constructions, additions or alterations within the urban fabric of the Old City, until a Conservation Plan has been prepared and adopted. To this end, the Bureau encourages the Yemeni authorities to submit urgently a request for International Assistance to the Committee, to enable the preparation of such a Plan, in close consultation with the World Heritage Centre."