UNESCO heritage placard unveiled

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The placard declaring "historical Jeddah" as a UNESCO heritage site is fixed to the wall of a building in the Balad district after being unveiled by Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed.

The placard declaring “historical Jeddah” as a UNESCO heritage site is fixed to the wall of a building in the Balad district after being unveiled by Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed.

Prince Mishaal bin Majed, governor of Jeddah and chairman of the Tourism Development Council in Jeddah, inaugurated the official Jeddah World Heritage Site Placard on Tuesday in the presence of Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah, governor of Makkah, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), and Abdulaziz Khoja, minister of Information and Culture.

Prince Mishaal bin Majed, on Saturday urged the residents of downtown Jeddah, the owners of the historic buildings, state institutions and relevant authorities to preserve and maintain the area following its recognition as a world heritage site by UNESCO especially in light of the efforts put in by STCA and various government bodies.

He also called for intensifying the efforts of years of hard work and cooperation between the various government agencies to maintain the old city which contains the rich culture and heritage of Hejaz; a region that has also been the gateway of the two holy mosques for centuries and which is a source of pride for Saudi Arabia.

He said that he was delighted that the old city of Jeddah has been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site which now doubles the responsibility of maintaining it as a tourist attraction and for those who are interested in the treasures of the heritage and culture of the Kingdom.

“We will need to work continuously to keep up to the standards of UNESCO,” he added, noting that the history of old Jeddah is steeped in civilization evidenced by the construction of Islamic architecture and that it is due to its historical value and urban excellence that “this lovely town of the Kingdom has made it to UNESCO’s world heritage list.”

The historical depth of Jeddah city is concentrated in “historical Jeddah,” which includes a number of monuments, historical buildings and mosques named after Uthman ibn Affan, Al-Shafie, Al-Basha, Ukash, AI-Meamar and Al-Hanafi. There are also several old souqs (markets) such as Al-Nada, AI-Khasequiyyah, Al-Alawi and Al-Saghah and a large number of heritage buildings with a unique architectural style.

The prince stressed the fact that these new responsibilities require integration and coordination between the government, owners of the buildings and institutions and the people who love culture and heritage and want to pass it down to future generations.

Prince Sultan bin Salman said that Jeddah’s historical project is not only developmental or economical but is also a part of culture. “The SCTA has completed all the studies, plans and programs for the project in the coming days,” he said adding that there were many projects already under way and more in the pipeline.

Prince Mashaal bin Abdullah, the Makkah governor, said that the combined efforts of all concerned had brought Jeddah on the world tourism map and that it was a moment of pride for the Kingdom.
The old city of Jeddah was listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO at its session in Qatar and highlights the prestige of the historical and archaeological sites of Jeddah.

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