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05 May 2014 Minister of Culture Receives Muharraq City Delegation
Minister of Culture Receives Muharraq City Delegation


Focusing on Muharraq historical urban and social heritage, H.E Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al-Khalifa, The Minister of Culture, received on 5 May 2014, a delegation from Muharraq Municipal Council, led by Muharraq Governor Salman bin Hindi, Muharraq Municipality director-general Saleh Al-Fadhala, Council chairman, Abdulnasser Al Mahmeed and a number of heritage and urban development projects officials working at the Ministry of Culture . The meeting discussed ministry’s urban development projects and the related urban plans foreseen by the City of Muharraq, in the presence of a group of heritage experts and urban projects’ specialists working at the Ministry of Culture.

The Minister of Culture started by praising the role of municipal members in boosting the efficiency of, and improving, municipal services in the Kingdom, stressing the need to coordinate efforts and policies to achieve ideal efficiency and better accomplishment of public projects. H.E said that “What we are doing together can be summarized in one sentence idea; we want to preserve the Bahraini identity, save and restore our heritage. We do not wish to replace these historical cities, change its demographic or urban characteristics, because they reflect the most faithful and genuine representation of our ancient civilizations”. The Minister of Culture argued that in examining the impact of urban development and tourism on the culture and environment of Muharraq, measuring the types of impacts - both positive and negative - that tourism has on the town’s heritage.

Minister of Culture stressed that preserving the national heritage is a common national responsibility, pointing out the importance of Bahrain's cultural heritage in projecting the kingdom's identity. They also discussed mapping out strategies to boost the cultural and architectural heritage in Muharraq while preserving the town's historical value and identity. They also agreed to hold a monthly meeting to coordinate efforts in this regard. The Minister of Culture said that such development urban projects, such as UNESCO’s recognition of Bahrain’s Pearl Road as a World Heritage Site, Al Qaysaria Market, Diving House, which was inaugurated last month as part of the Spring of Culture and Bin Matar house would contribute to the economic viability of the city. The Chairman of the Municipal Council of Muharraq Governorate highlighted that the heritage and urban development projects witnessed through Muharraq city, including the Pearl Trail, the project of developing Qaysariya market, Muharraq traditional market and the other projects, which reflect the Ministry of Culture’s interest allocated to Muharraq city to preserve heritage and provide better living standards for the inhabitants.

The Minister of Culture argued that these projects would also consolidate the efforts aimed at the protection, conservation and management of these specific cultural heritage sites, by means of investing in high-quality facilities for the sustainable development, presentation and interpretation of and changing their use into cultural tourism attractions. As a result there will be proper conservation of the actual physical sites, upgraded sustainable visitor attractions, accessibility to all sites, better understanding of the sites’ cultural and historical relevance and their context, and very positive contribution towards Bahrain’s cultural tourism product offer.

The meeting discussed several topics pertaining to services and issues of concern to inhabitants of the Governorate, such as the beautification and the landscape of the city and Bin Matar House and Arab Fort. They agreed that trails and greenways positively impact individuals and improve communities by providing not only recreation and transportation opportunities, but also by influencing economic and community development. Some of the many trails and greenways benefits include: making communities better places to live by preserving and creating open spaces; creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation and non-motorized transportation; encouraging physical fitness and healthy lifestyles; preserving culturally & historically valuable areas. strengthening local economies through tourism and job development and protecting the environment;

As the current Minister of Culture of the Kingdom of Bahrain, H.E Sh. Mai Bint Mohammad Al Khalifa has been a strong advocate of the preservation and promotion of Bahrain's architectural heritage and has launched an ambitious program of consolidating and expanding the cultural infrastructure across the Island. Urban development projects advocated by the Ministry of Culture include also Al-Hidaya al Khalifia School, Dar Janaa, Shaikh Isa Bin Ali Al-Khalifa House, in addition to the development of the façade of Bahrain’s Club to harmonize with the place.




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