Is Dubai Creek set to receive Unesco World Heritage status?

10/06/2013 - Dubai Lifestyle News
Is Dubai Creek set to receive Unesco World Heritage status?

 Leaders of the Dubai Municipality hope that a famous part of the city will receive World Heritage status from Unesco.

 An aerial view of the Dubai Creek

 Director of the body's Architectural Heritage department Rashad Bukhash has confirmed that a bid to have Dubai Creek officially recognised by the international organisation has been submitted and a final decision is due in a year's time.

 Speaking to the National, he said that Unesco representatives will survey the site next month and the Municipality will receive a preliminary report in January 2014.

 The first historical reference to the creek was made in 1822 and it is widely assumed that it played a major role in Dubai's rise as an important trading hub.

 Members of the Dubai government have recently highlighted cultural heritage as an important means of attracting more tourists to the emirate and securing World Heritage status from Unesco would be a real coup.

 "One of the main requirements for the Unesco accreditation is having legislation in place to protect antiquities," Mr Bukhash was quoted as saying.

 He added that such laws have already been passed by the Dubai authorities, although he is keen for the UAE's Federal National Council to reinforce these regulations. Mr Bukhash added that plans are now in place to make Dubai Creek a major tourist attraction.

 "We are already working on restoring an old building in Shandagha to be used as the tourist centre for the Dubai Creek," he continued.

 There are currently 962 properties on Unesco's World Heritage list and the Dubai Municipality will be desperate to add to this number.

 They can seek inspiration from the UAE's cultural sites of Al Ain, which were officially recognised by Unesco in 2011.

 According to the conservation group, these authentic prehistoric landmarks have huge historical importance and they are protected by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage's Establishment Law of 2005, as well as the Oasis protection laws of 2004 and 2005.

 Some of the planet's most famous sites - including the Egyptian pyramids and Africa's Serengeti - are classed as World Heritage sites.