Pearling Trail on UN World Heritage list
Manama, July 1, 2012
The Bahrain Pearling Trail has been included on Unesco's World Heritage list, the 21-member World Heritage Committee has announced.
The decision came as the independent body responsible for the World Heritage Convention met in St Petersburg, Russia.
Culture Minister Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa was present when the decision was announced.
The 3.5km Pearling Trail becomes only the second site in Bahrain to be included on the prestigious list, a Culture Ministry spokeswoman said last night.
The Pearling Trail, testimony of an island economy (Bahrain), consists of 17 buildings in Muharraq city, three offshore oyster beds, part of the seashore and the Qal'at Bu Mahir fortress on the southern tip of Muharraq Island, from where boats used to set off for the oyster beds.
The buildings listed include residences of wealthy merchants, shops, storehouses and a mosque. The site is the last remaining example of the cultural tradition of pearling and the wealth it generated at a time when the trade dominated the Gulf economy from the second century to the 1930s when Japan developed cultured pearls.
It also constitutes an outstanding example of traditional utilisation of the sea's resources and human interaction with the environment, which shaped both the economy and cultural identity of the island's society.
Bahrain had been pushing for the Pearling Trail to be included on the list for a while now, the spokeswoman said.
The Culture Ministry under the guidance of Shaikha Mai had been co-ordinating with Unesco for the inclusion of the trail. – TradeArabia News Service