Dubai Creek May Become a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Dubai’s authorities bid for the famous Khor Dubai, or Dubai Creek in English, to be included as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Municipality announced on Sunday that it is continuing to work on the project, preparing for the visit from UNESCO experts who are going to cross-check the submitted information.

The application was submitted on January 31, 2012 by the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities. During an official meeting at Dubai Municipality (DM) this Sunday, the Director General of DM, Hussain Lootah, said that if the Creek joins the World Heritage list, it will further strengthen the Emirate’s position on the global map of business and tourism. Different institutions have joined their efforts to make the application successful, bringing Dubai Creek among internationally famous sites such as Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park in the US, the City of Bath, Tower of London, Stonehenge in UK and many others. In fact, this will be the second UNESCO heritage site in the United Arab Emirates after the Cultural Sites of Al Ain were included in the list two years ago. The decision is expected to be announced by June 2014.

Rashad Bukhash, Director of the Architectural Heritage Department at Dubai Municipality who actually leads the campaign, said that in order to get an UNESCO accreditation for the site, authorities need to make sure to meet all requirements, one of which is having the proper legislation for protecting antiquities. Although Dubai has already implemented a law on this, a federal legislation is still not passed. Another essential factor for approving Dubai Creek for the list, is possessing “Outstanding Universal Value”. According to scientists, the first recorded reference to Dubai dates back to 1587, but the first written description of the creek is from 1822. Historians say that the creek itself is the main reason for the actual existence of Dubai and its early development as a trading port.

Today, the World Heritage List features 962 sites in a total of 157 State Parties, or countries. The sites include 745 cultural, 188 natural and 29 mixed properties, which form the cultural and natural heritage of the world.

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