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Dive into Heritage Logo

Dive into Heritage is creating an innovative online platform that leverages digital technologies to safeguard and promote World Heritage sites and its related intangible heritage, and transmit it to future generations.

Dive into Heritage (DIH) uses digital technology for the promotion, safeguarding and transmission of World Heritage to future generations.

This innovative initiative gathers digital data and information on world’s cultural and natural heritage including their intangible heritage to make it accessible to everyone, ranging from 3D models, interactive maps, and geolocated narratives as well as audio-visual material.

From heritage exploration to conservation and research purposes or monitoring and follow-up, users have a flexibility of access according to their interest and level of implication in heritage protection. 

During Phase I (2022-2024), the project focuses on the Arab States region, and targets the general public to increase heritage appreciation and undestanding of Outstanding Universal Value 

This platform led by UNESCO is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Project Vision

To create an innovative digital platform for everyone for exploration, education, safeguarding, monitoring and virtual reconstruction purposes.
To make the world's cultural and natural heritage and its associated intangible heritage discoverable, accessible, explorable, usable, and enjoyable for different groups of users.
To make different types of digital data accessible on the platform, including 3Ds, interactive maps, geolocated narratives, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR).
To develop tailor-made standards for the platform, the data collected, and the on-site data recorded depending on right-holders and stakeholders' requirements, quality and accuracy requirements for users, the complexity of the platform, types of digital media and assets, and the typology of the World Heritage property.

Explore Heritage

Explore World Heritage in the Arab region. A large diversity of landscapes, sites and cultural practices to understand heritage values and protect them. Visit World Heritage sites online and live a virtual World Heritage experience.

Heritage Research

Enrich your research and academic or expert work by learning more technical details about World Heritage sites and their related intangible heritage in the Arab region. Diversify your experience and explore available heritage data at your disposal.

Conservation and Monitoring

Contribute to the monitoring and follow-up of World Heritage Sites in your country and access information and documents concerning your country for effective protection and conservation. Download and upload data and documents to enrich your country's World Heritage Sites' records for enhancing virtual visitors’ experience.

Phase I

The first phase of the project started in 2022 and will be implemented until the end of 2024. It focuses on assessing needs for the platform in terms of content and digital formats, and on mapping the digital data available in the Arab States region.

This first phase targets the general public, offering multiple ways to digitally discover and better understand World Heritage and its Outstanding Universal Value.


10 Pilot World Heritage sites in the Arab States region, for which digital data is already available, will be integrated in the prototype version of the platform in coordination with relevant scientific and technical partners.


Additional sites will be identified, taking into consideration the availability of existing digital data and accessibility to organise data recording missions, to supplement the platform with World Heritage properties in the Arab States region.


By September 2023 a beta version of the platform will be built and data collected for a targeted number of properties using a refined methodological approach (requirements, type of data collected,  etc.), in order to allow a public release of the platform by end of Phase I in 2024.

Extended 45th session of the World Heritage Committee

To showcase the Dive into Heritage project's progress and generous support of the donor, a Dive into Heritage side event wasorganised during the Extended 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 12 September 2023.

A special Cocktail Event to highlight the Dive into Heritage Exhibition took place on 16 September 2023.

Side event and exhibition

The event was an excellent opportunity to present the project to an extended audience, invite States Parties to share their digital World Heritage data with UNESCO, enhance the project's visibility, encourage future resource mobilization efforts, and provide a platform for exchange and consultation.

The event consisted of a presentation of the project including its capacity building programme, an expert panel discussion on Digital Storytelling and a live demonstration of a prototype version of the platform. Finally, the Dive into Heritage Exhibition was launched, featuring some of the project's key results through 3D video animations and 3D printed models of digitally documented World Heritage sites.


Dive into Heritage Side Event and Exhibition launch on 12 September 2023 at the Extended 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Opening remarks by Mr Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant Director-General for Culture, at the Dive into Heritage Side Event.

Participants at the Dive into Heritage Side Event.

Dive into Heritage Cocktail Event on 16 September 2023 at the Extended 45th session of the World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

3D printed model of the World Heritage site "Hegra Archaeological Site (al-Hijr / Madā ͐ in Ṣāliḥ)" at the Dive into Heritage exhibition.

Participants at the Dive into Heritage Cocktail Event.

Display of 3D printed models and video animations of World Heritage sites digitised in the Arab States region.

Augmented Reality (AR) experience at the Dive into Heritage Exhibition.

Data Collection

Digital World Heritage data, captured with the latest technologies such as photogrammetry and 3D laser scanning, is sourced from States Parties and other partners to include on the platform.

Data captured and optimised by UNESCO

Discover World Heritage in 3D

Dive into Heritage optimises the digital data collected and captured through the project, so that it can be integrated on the online platform. The Dive into Heritage platform will feature a responsive 3D viewer so that users all over the world can digitally discover World Heritage with ease.

Press "Play" to get a preview of how Dive into Heritage will present its 3D models, and explore the World Heritage site "Bahla Fort" in 3D.

Building capacities

The project's capacity building programme includes a series of workshops aimed at enhancing capacities of youth and regional experts in the field of digital heritage documentation, digital workflows, and data processing.

1st workshop

The First Workshop on Digital Documentation for World Heritage was organized in Oman on 12 - 17 March 2023. The workshop invited site managers, (emerging) heritage professionals, and students to learn more about digital tools to document and model World Heritage sites in the Arab States region.

Learn more

2nd workshop

The Second Workshop on Digital Documentation for World Heritage will be organised in 2024 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, more information will follow shortly.

Learn more

Exploring World and Living Heritage

Dive into Heritage is the first ever web-platform to allow exploring World Heritage sites and their intangible heritage in one place.

During its Phase I (2022-2024), the project will develop a platform that will allow you to digitally discover World Heritage sites in the Arab States region. Other regions will benefit from Dive into Heritage in subsequent phases.

  Algeria Bahrain Egypt Iraq Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Libya Mauritania Morocco Oman Palestine Qatar Saudi Arabia Sudan Syrian Arab Republic Tunisia United Arab Emirates Yemen

World Heritage Sites
80 Cultural – 5 Natural – 3 Mixed
Intangible Heritage elements related to World Heritage Sites

Sustainable Development Goals

The Project will contribute to the implementation of UNESCO’s Programme and Budget for 2022-2023 (41 C/5), particularly Major Programme IV and its Outputs; CLT.1 Member States capacities strengthened to identify, protect and manage tangible heritage in particular through the effective implementation of the 1972 Convention and CLT.4 Member States and communities capacities strengthened to identify, safeguard and promote living heritage in particular through the effective implementation of the 2003 Convention. Dive into Heritage will also contribute to the achievement of the following UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets.

SDG 4 : Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Target 4.7: By 2030 ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development

SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Target 11.4: Strengthen efforts to protect and preserve the world's cultural and natural heritage

SDG 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

Target 17.9: Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation

With the generous support of 


UNITAR/UNOSATARC-WH      Iconem    Skerchfab