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27 November 2013 Crown Prince Welcomes UNESCO’s recognition Bahrain’s Pearl Trail as a World Heritage Site
Crown Prince Welcomes UNESCO’s recognition Bahrain’s Pearl Trail as a World Heritage Site

The Crown Prince yesterday welcomed UNESCO’s recognition of Bahrain’s Pearl Road as a World Heritage Site. During a ceremony at Bu Maher Fort, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, was presented with a UNESCO’s certificate, ‘Pearling: Testimony of an Island Economy’, by its World Heritage Centre head of Arab countries division Nada Al Hassan. The Minister of Culture , H.E Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa and senior officials were present. His Royal Highness said the new status for the range of sites in Muharraq that embody the traditional pearling industry was a source of pride for all Bahrainis. He stated that it signified the value of Bahraini pearls and recalled the country’s longstanding reputation for an industry that has contributed vitally to Bahrain’s culture and national character.

His Royal Highness, The Crown Prince, said the achievement signified the value of Bahraini pearls and recalled the country’s long-standing reputation for an industry that has contributed vitally to its culture and national character. He later toured the Visitors’ Centre, which provides information on the site. The Pearl Road starts from Bu Maher coast in Muharraq and continues until the Seyadi majlis, which will be the main pearl museum. The road goes through the house of diving, Al Jalahma house, Bader Ghuloom traditional medicine house, Yousif Al Alawi house, Fakhro house, Murad house and majlis, shops and buildings in Al Qaisariya Suq – including Yousif Abdul Rahman Fakhro’s building and Rashid Fakhro’s building, Al Nawkathah house and finally the house and mosque of Seyadi.

The Pearl Road is the second site in Bahrain to be included on the World Heritage list after the Bahrain Fort achieved the status in 2005.

The Minister of Culture, Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa welcomed His Royal Highness to the ceremony marking a project that the ministry prioritised this year as part of the new tourism infrastructure in the Kingdom in 2013. She spoke of the historical significance of the location for the ceremony - Bu Maher Fort – which has a history dating back to 1840, and its connection to the trade and economic activity and the lives of people through the rest of the Pearl Road. H.E said that strenuous efforts will be deployed in order complete the remaining stages of the Pearl Road project as well as other cultural and tourism projects, thanking official support and encouragement for the work of the ministry.

His Royal Highness noted the strong support of His Majesty the King to projects that highlight the history and culture of Bahrain. His Royal Highness then paid tribute to the Ministry of Culture’s tireless efforts to secure this status, making the Pearl Road the second site in the Kingdom to be added to the World Heritage List after the Bahrain Fort achieved the status in 2005. He welcomed the Ministry's work to preserve the sites and highlight the unique contribution pearling has made to the Bahrain’s economy, culture and history. His Royal Highness added that the pearl industry in Bahrain symbolizes a solid historical connection with the many civilizations and eras the country has seen.

His Royal Highness said all Bahrainis should take pride in these historical sites. He also called for all to ensure each new generation takes advantage of the variety of programmes made available by the Ministry of Culture to learn about the country’s history, so that they can have a full understanding of the collective identity of the nation.

During the ceremony, HRH toured the Visitors Centre, which provides further information on the Pearl Road and the locations included in it. He noted the impressive focus and attention on the preservation of the architecture that accompanied the pearling industry that has helped to further showcase the social components that it grew alongside it and that it contributed to.

Dr Mounir Bouchenaki, Director of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage said the establishment of the Visitors Centre as part of the Pearl Road project came in line with the UNESCO view on introducing heritage as one of the facets of human culture. He said the Centre helped with the spread of awareness of world heritage in the Arab world, noting that by including the Pearl Road project in the World Heritage List, it will contribute to further distinguishing the status of Bahrain as a country active in preserving its heritage.

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