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Qal’at al-Bahrain – Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun

Bahrain
Factors affecting the property in 2009*
  • Ground transport infrastructure
  • Housing
  • Land conversion
  • Marine transport infrastructure
Factors* affecting the property identified in previous reports

a) Project of land reclamation (“North Star”) in the bay in front of the property, as well as the project of a fishing harbour;

b) Physical and visual integrity threatened by the urban and architectural development projects around the protected area;

c) Visual integrity threatened by a project of a causeway foreseen off the northern coast as part of the global response to the traffic congestion in this part of the country.

International Assistance: requests for the property until 2009
Requests approved: 1 (from 2002-2002)
Total amount approved : 26,500 USD
2002 Preparatory Assistance for Qal'at al-Bahrain site (Approved)   26,500 USD
Missions to the property until 2009**

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

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2009

In its Decision 32 COM 8B.54, adopted at its 32nd session (Quebec City, 2008), the World Heritage Committee approved a minor modification of the property boundaries, which defined the visual corridor in the bay north of the site as buffer zone and included a second area to the property which comprises the ancient sea tower and the historic entrance channel. This entails that the North Star project, should it be maintained, will not be built at the previously foreseen location.

With respect to the other issues raised by the World Heritage Committee in its Decision 31 COM 7B.60, the progress report submitted by the State Party on 5 March 2009 provided the following information:

a) The National Planning and Development Strategies (2030) were endorsed by Royal Decree in November 2008. The World Heritage property and its approved modified buffer zone have been integrated into these Strategies, as a development exclusion zone. Therefore, the legal protection of the whole property is assured, in addition to the zone owned by the Ministry of Culture. All requests for building or development in the area received by the Ministry of Municipalities and Agriculture are forwarded to the Sector for Culture and National Heritage.

b) The National Planning and Development Strategies (2030) foresee an off-shore highway, planned for 2015, but specifies that the exclusion corridor can only be crossed by a bridge at a minimal distance of 3km to the shore;

c) With regard to the relocation of the local community living at the southern edge of the site, following its specific request, the report confirms that a location has been officially attributed by the Ministry of Housing. However, due to lack of funding the infrastructure and construction works have not yet been scheduled or designed;

d) The “Action plan towards a management system” submitted in March 2006 as the basis for a future integrated management and conservation plan has been reviewed and updated by a working group consisting of staff members from the Ministry of Culture and Information and from the Ministry of Municipalities and Agriculture. It includes a new Action Plan for the period 2009-2011, attached to the State Party’s report. The report expressed that in order to improve some of the coordination mechanisms the State Party will review and evaluate its effectiveness for two more years before adopting a finalized version.

Representatives of the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies attended the opening of the new visitor centre and site museum on 18 February 2008, which provides high standard presentation facilities for the property.

The World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies welcome the progress made but note delays in finalizing the management plan. 

Decisions adopted by the Committee in 2009
33 COM 7B.53
Qal’at al-Bahrain – Ancient Harbour and Capital of Dilmun (Bahrain) (C 1192)

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decisions 31 COM 7B.60 and 32 COM 8B.54, adopted at its 31st (Christchurch, 2007) and 32nd (Quebec City, 2008) sessions respectively,

3. Notes with satisfaction the progress achieved by the State Party in the implementation of a series of important measures aiming at conserving and protecting the property;

4. Requests the State Party to provide, by 1 February 2011, three printed and electronic copies of the final integrated management and conservation plan, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies.

Draft Decision: 33 COM 7B.53

The World Heritage Committee,

1. Having examined Document WHC-09/33.COM/7B,

2. Recalling Decisions 31 COM 7B.60 and 32 COM 8B.54, adopted at its 31st (Christchurch, 2007) and 32nd (Quebec City, 2008) sessions respectively,

3. Notes with satisfaction the progress achieved by the State Party in the implementation of a series of important measures aiming at conserving and protecting the property;

4. Requests the State Party to provide, by 1 February 2011, three printed and electronic copies of the final integrated management and conservation plan, for review by the World Heritage Centre and the Advisory Bodies. 

Report year: 2009
Bahrain
Date of Inscription: 2005
Category: Cultural
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)
Documents examined by the Committee
arrow_circle_right 33COM (2009)
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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