April 16, 2024
Sustainability Lifestyle

Uruq Bani Ma’arid Reserve is on UNESCO World Heritage List

The Uruq Bani Ma‘arid Reserve in Saudi Arabia has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as announced by Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al Saud, Saudi Minister of Culture, Chairman of the National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, and Chairman of the Heritage Commission.

The decision was taken during the extended 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, September 10-25, 2023.

The successful nomination of the site marks Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO Natural Heritage Site and celebrates the Kingdom’s efforts to protect and maintain its natural ecosystems and cultural heritage.

The inscription came on the back of support for culture and heritage in the Kingdom and reflects Saudi Arabia’s vast culture and biodiversity across its regions.

Praising the joint national efforts that supported the site inscription, the minister also emphasised Saudi’s commitment to conserving natural heritage and the sustainable development of natural origin. This commitment highlights the importance of natural heritage and its strategic importance to Saudi Vision 2030.

Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al Saud said: “The inscription of the Reserve on the UNESCO World Heritage List as the first Natural Heritage Site in the Kingdom contributes to highlighting the importance of natural heritage on a global scale and reflects the outstanding value of the Reserve.”

Situated along the western edge of ar-Rub al-Khali (The Empty Quarter), Uruq Bani Ma’arid Reserve occupies over 12,750sqkm. It is the only major sand desert in tropical Asia and the largest continuous sand sea on Earth.

With a world-class panorama of the sands of the Empty Quarter and some of the world’s most giant complex linear dunes, Uruq Bani Ma‘arid Reserve embodies outstanding universal value.

It is an exceptional showcase of the environmental and biological evolution of flora and fauna in Saudi Arabia. It provides vital natural habitats for the survival of more than 120 indigenous plant species, as well as endangered animals living in harsh environments, including gazelles and the only free-ranging herd of Arabian Oryx in the world.

Uruq Bani Ma’arid Reserve fulfils the World Heritage standards as a sand desert that embodies outstanding universal value and forms a unique and diverse landscape. The Reserve contains a range of extensive natural habitats vital to the survival of critical species. It includes five sub-groups of the Kingdom’s national ecosystems, vital to maintaining the site’s biodiversity.

The inscription of the Uruq Bani Ma’arid Reserve as a World Heritage Site comes from joint national efforts by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, the National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, the National Centre for Wildlife, and the Heritage Commission.

The inscription of the Uruq Bani Ma’arid Reserve adds to the six other Saudi UNESCO sites, which are Al-Ahsa Oasis, Al-Hijr Archaeological Site, At-Turaif District in ad-Dir’iyah, Ḥimā Cultural Area, Historic Jeddah, and Rock Art in the Hail Region.

Last Updated on 7 months by Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247 delivers the latest business and lifestyle news and essential infotainment for, and from the Middle East region, with key focus on the GCC nations: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
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