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Jeddah to enter world heritage list of UNESCO

Traditional style wooden balconies in the Old City of Jeddah.

Source : Arab News with / 22 Jun 2014

Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), announced on Saturday that the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has decided to include the historical sites in Jeddah in the World Heritage List during its meeting in Qatar.

Prince Sultan expressed his appreciation to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, and Second Deputy Premier Prince Muqrin, for their support for this historic achievement, the Saudi Press Agency said.

Prince Sultan said: “The significance of this decision lies in the fact that it sheds light on the historical position of the Kingdom, which has a rich heritage and lofty position in history.”

The prince also commended the efforts made by the former governors of Makkah Prince Majed, Prince Abdul Majeed and Prince Khaled Al-Faisal for boosting the image of the city, adding that the UNESCO’s approval came after all the conditions and specification for the inclusion of Jeddah in the list have been fulfilled.

The historical area of Jeddah is located in the center of Jeddah city, along the western coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea.

Some historical resources refer to the history of Jeddah as dating back to the era before Islam. However, the major changing point in the history of Jeddah occurred in the era of the Rashidi Khalifat Utham Ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) on the year 647 AD, when he ordered it's transference to a harbor receiving pilgrims heading to Makkah for Hajj. At that time, it was named the country of consuls (Balad Al-Qanasil) and until today, Jeddah remains the main route for sea and air access for pilgrims, as well as many of those arriving by land transportation. Jeddah has always remained under the influence of the following successive Islamic Khilafat.

The historical area of Jeddah is considered to be one of the most important areas in the city of Jeddah due to its authenticity, its distinguished planning, and its unique architecture. It contains many historical landmarks and buildings such as: the Old Jeddah Wall and Gates, the old quarters (Al-Mazloom Quarter, Al-Sham Quarter, Al-Yaman Quarter, and Al-Bahar Quarter), there are also a number of historical mosques (Uthamn Ibn Affan Mosque, Al-Shafeey Mosque, Al-Basha Mosque, Ukash Mosque, AI-Meamar Mosque, and Al-Hanafi Mosque). The old Area also houses a number of old Souqs (Al-Nada Souq, AI-Khasequiyyah Souq, Al-Alaweey Souq, Al-Saghah (Jewelry) Souq) and a large number of heritage buildings that are all still in use.

The historical area of Jeddah is considered an eminent and unique pattern for architecture in the Red Sea zone, which includes the beautiful residential buildings and palaces that still maintain a lot of its urban heritage including its planning, architectural features, artistic features that form a homogeneous urban fabric along with its paths, quads, and market places (Souqs), providing a living example of a genuine Arabic Islamic city.


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