Online Expert Meeting: Identifying the potential of the Arab States region for a more balanced World Heritage List (Gap Analysis Study)

The Arab Regional Center for World Heritage (ARC-WH), in cooperation with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), organised an online international experts meeting to discuss the Gap Analysis Study of World Heritage sites in the Arab region. The meeting also examined the outputs of a questionnaire prepared to identify regional gaps and elements that lead to the underrepresentation of sites from the Arab region. The online meeting was held from 6-7, 9, 13 July 2020.

The online meeting for the Gap Analysis Study promoted a dialogue and exchange between regional and international experts who shared opinions and experiences towards the enhancement of protection and management of cultural heritage in the Arab region. Discussions included ways in which Arab countries could identify potential sites from different historical periods and underrepresented themes and typologies, such as the heritage of architectural modernities, vernacular heritage and oases, and Cultural Landscapes. Experts also considered the institutional and legal frameworks that must be taken into consideration in order to enhance the capacities of Arab States in contributing to the achievement of a more balanced and representative World Heritage List.

In 2019, ARC-WH and ICOMOS prepared the first part of the Gap Analysis Study on World Heritage sites, as well as sites on the Tentative List in the Arab region, to identify gaps and imbalances, in addition to identifying categories and typologies of sites of potential universal importance that could contribute to the representation of the region’s rich and diverse heritage on the World Heritage List.