UNESCO’s Culture Sector aims to protect and promote heritage and cultural expressions, and to advocate the inclusion of intercultural dialogue in development policies to foster a culture of peace and non-violence.
Positioned on the historical trade routes of the Middle-East, Jordan has been home to a mix of cultures and religions throughout time. The rich history of the country is represented by a large and varied archaeological heritage, testimony to the past civilizations that settled in the area. There are currently four sites in Jordan inscribed in the World Heritage List (Petra, Quseir Amra, Um er-Rasas, and the Wadi Rum Protected Area) and 15 properties that have been identified as potential candidates for inscription and are currently on the Tentative List. This heritage attracts many tourists to sites such as Petra and Jerash every year, making tourism one of the most important sectors of Jordan’s economy.
Jordan is also known for its intangible heritage, in particular the Bedouin pastoral tribal heritage. The importance of the traditions and way of life associated with the Bedouin tribes was recognized in 2008 when ‘The Cultural Space of the Bedu in Petra and Wadi Rum’ was added to the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
The UNESCO Amman Office supports Jordan in protecting sites inscribed on the World Heritage List and assists in improving the management of museums and cultural objects. UNESCO is also committed to safeguarding the country’s intangible heritage and assist in promoting cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue as sources of development.