Within the framework of the Activities of ARC-WH: Implementation of a Workshop on Impact Assessment on World Heritage in Saudi Arabia

The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) organised a workshop on assessing the various urban impacts on World Heritage sites in the Hail region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A total of 25 Saudi heritage professionals from representatives of government and private agencies and managers of the Saudi World Heritage sites participated in the workshop. The World Heritage site of ‘Rock Art in the Hail Region of Saudi Arabia’ was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2015.

The regional capacity-building workshop took place from 20 to 24 November 2022. It was held in cooperation with the Saudi Heritage Commission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the ICCROM-IUCN World Heritage Leadership programme.

Impact assessment is one of the important tools in preserving the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of World Heritage sites in light of various challenges, including urban development and climate change. During the workshop, the participants acquired the necessary knowledge and skills to manage and monitor World Heritage sites so that they would be able to link cultural and natural heritage and use impact assessments in line with the newly published Guidance and Toolkit for Impact Assessments in a World Heritage Context.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia currently has six sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List: ‘Hegra Archaeological Site (al-Hijr / Madā ͐ in Ṣāliḥ)’, ‘At-Turaif District in ad-Dir’iyah’, ‘Ḥimā Cultural Area’, ‘Historic Jeddah, the Gate to Makkah’, ‘Rock Art in the Hail Region of Saudi Arabia’, and ‘Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape’. ARC-WH, based in the Kingdom of Bahrain, aims to support the 19 Arab State parties in managing and conserving World Heritage sites within the framework of the 1972 World Heritage Convention.