1.         Qal’at al-Bahrain – Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun (Bahrain) (C 1192ter)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2005

Criteria  (ii)(iii)(iv)

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/1192/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved: USD 26,500
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1192/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

N/A

Previous monitoring missions

January-February 2006: World Heritage Centre mission; June 2006: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS mission; July 2012: Joint World Heritage Centre/ICOMOS Advisory mission

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1192/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 21 January 2021, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, available at https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1192/documents/, which reports the following activities:

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

The State Party has previously acknowledged and responded positively to the need for legal protection and planning frameworks to facilitate the conservation of the attributes that contribute to the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the property. The new zoning codes are critical to this process and will not only help to protect the property itself, but will also contribute more generally to heritage protection. The notification of an extended timeframe is therefore disappointing, but the importance of resolving an agreed position on the number and types of heritage zones, and particularly agricultural and urban heritage areas, with the Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning is recognised. Therefore, the extended timeframe is acknowledged, but it remains important that the process be followed through, as envisaged by Decisions 41 COM 7B.75 and 43 COM 7B.42, including signed memoranda of understanding with the owners of lands located within the area designated for extension of the property, in order to improve its management and conservation.

The process followed and the decisions already made regarding the road connectivity project for Nurana Island demonstrate the commitment of the State Party to affording primacy to the conservation of the OUV of the property. The Committee has already acknowledged by Decision 43 COM 7B.42 that the tunnel will not substantively affect the OUV of the property, subject to the final design resolution and decisions on construction methodology. It is therefore important that the State Party fulfill its commitment to submit project design details for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies before the project proceeds.

The reported unlawful land reclamation within a significant visual corridor that is part of the buffer zone of the property gives rise to concerns regarding the  enforcement of appropriate land and sea controls and processes.  However, the reaction of BACA and other State Party agencies has been prompt and appropriate.

Noting the processes already in train for submission of documentation and notification under Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, and the expected timing for resolution of the proposed planning framework and land use zones, it would be appropriate for the Committee to allow a four year period before reconsidering the state of conservation of the property.

Decision Adopted: 44 COM 7B.125

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Document WHC/21/44.COM/7B,
  2. Recalling Decision 43 COM 7B.42, adopted at its 43rd session (Baku, 2019),
  3. Notes that the State Party remains committed to incorporating new codes within the amended Prime Ministerial Edict No. 28 of 2009: Zoning Regulations for Construction, but that this process is ongoing and is not expected to be completed for some years;
  4. Reiterates its request that the State Party also pursue signed memoranda of understanding with the owners of lands located within the area designated for the extension of the property, in order to improve its management and conservation;
  5. Also reiterates its request that final designs and details of construction methods for the proposed tunnel to Nurana Island be submitted for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies, prior to the commencement of any on-site works;
  6. Notes with concern that unlawful land reclamation has occurred within a significant visual corridor that is part of the buffer zone of the property, and requests the State Party to advise the World Heritage Centre once the required remedial works are completed;
  7. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 December 2024, 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 48th session.