World Heritage


UNESCO seeks to encourage the identification, protection and preservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. This is embodied in an international treaty called the “Convention concerning the Protection of the World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage”, adopted by UNESCO in 1972.


Heritage in the Gulf Region is very rich and varied. It consists of tangible, both natural and cultural, and intangible resources and incorporates archaeological sites, historic buildings, cultural and natural landscapes, ethnographic and historic collections, as well as an important traditional folklore.

This rich cultural heritage, which reflects living culture rather than the ossified image of the past, has a major role to play in improving and inspiring people’s lives, in upgrading the quality of the living environment and in providing the resources for economic and cultural development. It is an important element of awareness, planning and construction, as well as sustainability and progress, especially on account of the growth of tourism which in many countries of the Gulf region constitutes an important source of income and employment.

Several activities have been or are being implemented in several Gulf countries in cooperation with UNESCO and local institutions. These projects target for instance the preservation of traditional crafts and their promotion, the launching of programmes for the recognition of crafts’ products and craftsmen, the organization of  workshops to foster heritage education in the region, the preservation of collections, or the preparation of information and training session about World Heritage, museums and collections’ issues.

The most important element of UNESCO’s role in the Gulf region is to ensure the interaction and harmony between national policies and implementation plans and strategies, in order to achieve our goals for the protection, preservation, rehabilitation and promotion of cultural heritage.


World Heritage sites in:

For more information, please visit:

The main UNESCO World Heritage Web- site:

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