It has been at the heart of the emirate’s transformation from fishing village into sprawling metropolis, and now Dubai Creek is under consideration to join a significant cultural catalogue. The iconic waterway is one of 30 nominees put forward for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List, each of which are currently being mulled over at the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee in Bahrain.
Should it be successful in its nomination, Dubai Creek will join sites such as Peru’s Machu Picchu, the Vatican City, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and India’s Taj Mahal. To be included in the list, sites “must be of outstanding universal value”, according to UNESCO, with 1,037 locations on the current register. Dubai Creek has been the heart of the city’s harbour-based trade for decades, particularly during Dubai’s thriving pearl-diving history. In recent years, the location has become an important tourist destination, housing various souks and offering traditional abra rides. The UAE currently has one site already on the list; the collective cultural sites of Al Ain, including the Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas, which were added in 2011.
#Dubai Creek is one of the 30 sites nominated for inclusion on @UNESCO’s World Heritage List during the 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee held currently in Bahrain. pic.twitter.com/HnxddvFZrd
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) June 24, 2018
Other locations bidding to make the World Heritage List include the Ancient City of Qalhat in Oman, Saudi Arabia‘s Al Ahsa Oasis, Naumburg Cathedral in Germany, and the Caliphate City of Medina Azahara in Spain. This year’s session – which will be held until July 4 – is being chaired by Bahrani lawyer and diplomat Sheikha Haya Bint Rashed Al-Khalifa, who will be joined by members such as UNESCO’s director-general, Audrey Azoulay. “Expectations of this session are high and we must seize this opportunity to strengthen joint work for the safeguarding of cultural heritage,” said Sheikha Haya as the session opened, according to a statement from UNESCO.