The Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) and Department of Culture and Information in Sharjah have announced that the Heart of Sharjah has been registered in the tentative list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
The tentative United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listing reflects the significance of archaeological and historical heritage in the UAE and comes in line with Sharjah Islamic Cultural Capital 2014 celebrations.
Under the directives of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, member of the supreme council and ruler of Sharjah, Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, chairperson of Shurooq, has formed a task force to nominate the Heart of Sharjah to be included on the List of World Heritage Sites. The file will be evaluated by the UNESCO’s bodies, which will conduct a number of visits and assessments over a period of two years before recommending whether to inscribe the Heart of Sharjah on the World Heritage List.
Once listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the international organisation will protect the site and help with maintenance when needed.
The Heart of Sharjah is located in the old part of Sharjah. According to historical sources, this location contributed to development of trade. Al Edrissy – an 11th century geographer – stated that there was a port in the existing location of Sharjah.
Shurooq is developing the Heart of Sharjah, in what is considered as the first and largest ever heritage development in the region. Seeking to reflect what Sharjah was like over half a century ago, the project will restore and revamp the city’s traditional areas to create a tourist and trade destination with contemporary artistic touches, yet retain the feel of the 1950s. Scheduled for completion in 2025, the first of five phases is already underway.