The First UAE Site to be Included in the List
The Heritage Committee of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) added the Heart of Sharjah and Sharjah Fort (Al Hisn) site to the list of heritage in the Islamic World. This took place at the tenth meeting of the Islamic World Heritage Committee in Rabat, Morocco, this month.
The Sharjah Archaeology Authority submitted integrated files for nomination to ISESCO in July 2021, which dealt with the archaeological dimensions and the historical and artistic value of these sites, in addition to their architectural elements, and reports on the state of their protection and preservation.
The Emirate of Sharjah’s inclusion in the list is based on its distinguished historical role in ensuring the security of global trade in the Gulf, as well as creating all conditions to ensure freedom of transportation and movement across the Arabian Gulf due to its strategic location of great importance in securing historical and cultural communication between East and West.
The listed site includes many historical buildings, the most important of which are the historical Sharjah Fort (Al Hisn), commercial markets, and historical buildings that bear witness to the Emirate’s and region’s history.
Dr. Sabah Jassim, Director-General of the Sharjah Archaeology Authority, said, “The registration of these sites falls within the framework of the Authority’s strategy and plan to preserve the Emirate’s tangible cultural heritage and share it with the world by highlighting these sites and registering them on international heritage lists to introduce and improve their tourist attractions. Previously, cultural heritage sites in the central region of the Emirate of Sharjah were registered on the preliminary list of UNESCO in 2012.”
Dr. Jassim confirmed the continuation of the Authority’s efforts to evaluate archaeological sites in the Emirate and the extent of their eligibility to be nominated for international lists, noting that the results of these studies will be announced later.
ISESCO’s Islamic World Heritage List is of equal importance to the UNESCO World Heritage List, and the Heart of Sharjah and Sharjah Fort is the first site of the UAE to be included on this list of prestigious international standing that is concerned with the protection of cultural and natural heritage in the Islamic world.