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; May 2001: World Heritage Centre mission;  November-December 2001: World Heritage Centre experts mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2002

The World Heritage Centre fielded an expert mission to the site from 28 November to 5 December 2001, to review the progress of the Management Plan and conservation works at the site. While the UNESCO experts found that conservation works at the Fort were proceeding satisfactorily, some concerns were expressed in their report on the progress of the Management Plan, entrusted by the Omani authorities to a consultant firm based in Oman. After reviewing a draft of the Stage 1 Report prepared by the consultant firm, the experts insisted on the need to further develop a thorough analysis and survey of the cultural and natural values of the site (including the Oasis and its surroundings), which apparently had not been sufficiently covered by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture in their Terms of Reference. Moreover, the UNESCO experts recommended that more attention be paid to ensure that needs and opinions of the local community be effectively taken into account in the consultative process leading to the preparation of the Management Plan. The World Heritage Centre, to this day, has not received copy of the Stage 1 Report.

On the tender launched by the Ministry of Trade, for the construction of a new market within the Bahla Oasis, which was a cause for concern of the World Heritage Centre mission to Oman of May 2001, the Terms of Reference for its design have apparently been modified in consultation with the Ministry of Heritage and Culture. The Centre, however, has not received any information on progress in this matter.

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

N/A

Decision Adopted: 26 COM 21A.12

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Commends the Omani authorities for the substantial achievements in the advancement of conservation works at the Fort, and for engaging in the preparation of the Management Plan;

2. Recommends that the State Party ensure as a matter of urgency the necessary technical supervision of the conservation works being implemented at the site, and that a comprehensive survey and analysis of cultural and natural values of the Bahla Oasis and its surroundings be included in the scope of work of the consultant firm;

3. Expresses its concern with regard to the proposed construction of a new market within the site and suggests that an environmental impact assessment be made of this new construction on the values of the site; 

4. Requests that the State Party transmit to the Centre a copy of all reports prepared by the consultant as well as any technical documentation relating to the proposed construction of the new market within the Oasis, including an assessment of its potential impact on the values of the site;

5. Requests the State Party to submit by 1 February 2003, a report on the progress of all the above-mentioned issues for examination at its 27th session in June/July 2003;

6. Decides to retain the site on the List of World Heritage in Danger.