Time: November 25, 2018
- The new sites belong to the pre-Islamic and early Islam eras and were found in three provinces including Bisha, Tathlith, and Balqarn
- The number of sites listed in the National Antiquities Register through SCTH office in Bisha during this year has increased to 214
JEDDAH: The Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage’s (SCTH) Asir office has added records of 19 new archaeological sites to the National Antiquities Register.
SCTH official Mohammed Al-Umrah said the number of sites listed in the National Antiquities Register through their office in Bisha during this year has increased to 214.
The new sites belong to the pre-Islamic and early Islam eras and were found in three provinces including Bisha, Tathlith, and Balqarn.
In a bid to end reliance on oil, the Kingdom is investing in tourism, aiming to increase spending by Saudis at home instead of on holidays abroad.
Encouraging visits to local places of beauty or interest is a key Vision 2030 goal and the Kingdom has some world-class sites, some in remote areas, which are all but unknown outside the Kingdom.
On Friday, a group of Italian architects toured one of the most fascinating heritage villages in Saudi Arabia — Rijal Alma.
The village, set to be transformed into a major tourist attraction, is an architectural delight located in the province of Asir in the south of the country.
The architects, who were given a tour by Rijal Alma Mayor Saeed bin Ali Al-Hafiz, were informed about the architectural techniques developed by locals and the materials used.
The structures, which use stones and clay and often multi-floored, are distinctive, especially the white-framed windows.
The group also explored a number of public buildings, including schools and municipal premises, as well as heritage sites.
The Italians are currently taking part in an architectural exhibition in the region.
Rijal Alma won the Prince Sultan bin Salman Award for Urban Heritage in 2007, and was submitted for inclusion as a UNESCO World Heritage site earlier this year.
The SCTH’s efforts to register heritage and archaeological sites to the Urban Heritage list fall under the Kingdom’s Cultural Heritage Care program that includes a system of projects and programs to develop, highlight and preserve national heritage sites.
The residents’ initiatives to preserve their village are driven by an awareness of its history, culture, nature and moderate climate.
The towns along the Red Sea coast and the southern highlands contain some fine buildings in their historic old quarters.
Meanwhile, an SCTH delegation, headed by Abdulaziz bin Hasan Al-Hasan, visited Wadi Al-Dawasir governorate and met with governor Abdullah bin Suleiman Al-Mubarak and members of the region’s Tourism Development Committee to discuss ways of developing tourist areas.
The meeting tackled completing the development of the archaeological village of Al-Faw (Qaryat Al-Faw) and re-exploring archaeological sites, to include them in the UNESCO list of world heritage sites.
They also discussed mechanism of identifying and supporting tourism and heritage activities, developing desert sites for touristic purposes, and encouraging the private sector to contribute to the investment of these sites areas.