Last week we were crossing our fingers for the Middle East to gain another spot on the UNESCO Heritage lists, and over the weekend the organisation made it’s decision.
The committee have confirmed that Qalhat in Oman and the Al-Ahsa oasis in Saudi Arabia have both made the list this year. Qalhat was one of the most important Islamic commercial trade hubs in the Indian Ocean from the 11th to 16th centuries and acts ‘as a unique archaeological testimony to the trade links between the east coast of Arabia, east Africa, India, China and south-east Asia’, reads the UNESCO statement. Of Al-Ahsa oasis they said:
“With its 2.5 million date palms, it is the largest oasis in the world. Al-Ahsa is also a unique geocultural landscape and an exceptional example of human interaction with the environment.”
The site brings together gardens, canals, springs and wells along with archaeological sites and showcases the continued human settlement in the Gulf region from the Neolithic to the present.
Time to jot these two unique locations onto your travel list.