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Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah

Saudi Arabia
Factors affecting the property in 2018*
  • Housing
  • Management systems/ management plan
  • Other Threats:

    High rate of decay of the historic houses

Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports
  • Management system not in place
  • Detailed Conservation Strategy not finalized
  • Projects and development work with the potential to impact the authenticity of the property
  • High rate of decay of the historic houses
International Assistance: requests for the property until 2018
Requests approved: 0
Total amount approved : 0 USD
Missions to the property until 2018**
Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2018

On 27 November 2017, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, which is available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1361/documents, and which provides information on the progress achieved in implementing the decision adopted by the Committee at its 40th session as follows:

  • A complete and accessible database of all historic buildings is currently available. The Urban Affairs Agency in Jeddah’s Amana and its GIS department have partnered with the King Abdel-Aziz University to develop further the database with new technologies, including 3-dimensional and digital data for documentation, to be used for monitoring purposes;
  • Despite several efforts, a recent survey underlines that a number of houses are fragile and at risk of collapse. Actions to avoid the collapse and to stabilize the buildings at risk are under planning and implementation phases;
  • Activities are carried out in Historic Jeddah by non-governmental actors, including a programme to train local artisans who may support restoration activities;
  • Following the restoration of the Ash-Shafe’l Mosque accomplished in 2015 in the framework of the “National Historic Mosques care Program”, the renovation project of the Al-Me'mar Mosque is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2018;
  • Local communities, civil society and private sector are involved in several conservation and restoration activities;
  • The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) and the Amana undertook steps to apply the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach in managing the property. This includes a survey of the city’s resources, fostering public-private partnerships, the integration of heritage values and their vulnerability into the city’s development plans, and the prioritization of conservation and development actions. For the latter, indicators have been developed concerning conservation, planning, development and partnerships;
  • Following the request by the Committee to incorporate a Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) approach into the regulatory and management framework, the SCTH carried out a HIA for Historic Jeddah. The approval of the Antiquities, Museums and Urban Heritage Law (2014), the formalization and approval of the Municipal Building Regulation and preparation of “Guidelines for Building Regulation” aim to facilitate implementation of laws and regulations for the property to preserve its heritage within a comprehensive strategy stemming from the HIA;
  • Actions to prevent fire in the property have been undertaken by the Civil Defense, Government Officials of Historic Jeddah and the Municipality. These include the implementation of a water storage and supply for emergency fires occurring in Historic Jeddah, located at the northern part of the registered area, and fixing more than 600 hand-held fire extinguishers in historic buildings.
Analysis and Conclusion by World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies in 2018

Important advances have been made in relation to the database of historic buildings with a 3D database underway. However, no detailed information was provided, as requested by the Committee, on whether the data will include other attributes relating to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV), such as the tower houses, other urban houses, the wikalas, mosques and zawiyas.

The State Party did not submit a comprehensive conservation strategy as requested by the Committee. Although the efforts of the State Party in undertaking conservation projects within the property are commendable, it is recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide detailed information on the works achieved, and plans and strategies to be undertaken, in particular to buildings that are at risk of collapse.  In addition, it is also recommended that the Committee request the State Party to provide technical information on the restoration and/or conservation projects of emblematic buildings, such as Al-Me'mar Mosque to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies. In general, conservation and restoration practices should respect the authenticity of the historic buildings and fabric.

The State Party has provided detailed explanations on the legal framework and institutional responsibilities, and on initiatives taken to establish and incorporate the HUL approach in managing the property, and has set urban/architectural conservation and development indicators thereon.

The State Party has also advised that an HIA was carried out for Historic Jeddah, but this has not been submitted to the World Heritage Centre. The HIA seems to have been prepared to assist with ‘implementing plans’ for the property, rather than as a tool for evaluation of particular projects. It is desirable that preparation of HIAs for significant projects also be incorporated as part of the framework for managing the property.

The State Party has also undertaken several risk mitigation measures to prevent fire in the property but still needs to provide a risk management and prevention plan. It is therefore recommended that the Committee request the State Party to send detailed information on the initiatives stated above to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies.

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2018
42 COM 7B.58
Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah (Saudi Arabia) (C 1361)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.27, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Commends the State Party for the significant achievements in finalizing a detailed database of the buildings in the property and encourages it to pursue its efforts to include all the attributes relating to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including its urban fabric within this database;
  4. Welcomes the engagement of the State Party in achieving a more comprehensive management approach for the property and the adoption of legal instruments and institutional measures that would allow for its improved protection, conservation and management, as well as initial steps toward application of the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach to management of the property;
  5. Also encourages the State Party to further develop an integrated conservation strategy for the property including systematic Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) studies, prepared in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties to be applied to significant projects within the property;
  6. Notes the efforts undertaken by the State Party to prevent risk of fire and requests it to integrate those measures into a risk preparedness plan for the property;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies:
    1. Detailed information on all plans, projects and strategies to be undertaken within the property, in particular on emblematic buildings and those at risk of collapse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines,
    2. The Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) which has been prepared for the property,
    3. The integrated conservation strategy for the property including the HIA framework for specific projects,
    4. The risk management and prevention plan for the property;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Draft Decision: 42 COM 7B.58

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/18/42.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 40 COM 7B.27, adopted at its 40th session (Istanbul/UNESCO, 2016),
  3. Commends the State Party for the significant achievements in finalizing a detailed database of the buildings in the property and encourages it to pursue its efforts to include all the attributes relating to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property, including its urban fabric within this database;
  4. Welcomes the engagement of the State Party in achieving a more comprehensive management approach for the property and the adoption of legal instruments and institutional measures that would allow for its improved protection, conservation and management, as well as initial steps toward application of the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) approach to management of the property;
  5. Also encourages the State Party to further develop an integrated conservation strategy for the property including systematic Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) studies, prepared in accordance with the ICOMOS Guidance on HIAs for Cultural World Heritage properties to be applied to significant projects within the property;
  6. Notes the efforts undertaken by the State Party to prevent risk of fire and requests it to integrate those measures into a risk preparedness plan for the property;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies:
    1. Detailed information on all plans, projects and strategies to be undertaken within the property, in particular on emblematic buildings and those at risk of collapse, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines,
    2. The Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) which has been prepared for the property,
    3. The integrated conservation strategy for the property including the HIA framework for specific projects,
    4. The risk management and prevention plan for the property;
  8. Further requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2020, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Report year: 2018
Saudi Arabia
Date of Inscription: 2014
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iv)(vi)
Documents examined by the Committee
SOC Report by the State Party
Report (2017) .pdf
Report (2017) .pdf
arrow_circle_right 42COM (2018)
Exports

* : The threats indicated are listed in alphabetical order; their order does not constitute a classification according to the importance of their impact on the property.
Furthermore, they are presented irrespective of the type of threat faced by the property, i.e. with specific and proven imminent danger (“ascertained danger”) or with threats which could have deleterious effects on the property’s Outstanding Universal Value (“potential danger”).

** : All mission reports are not always available electronically.


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