Abu Dhabi’s second city and heritage heartland of Al Ain in the emirate’s Eastern Region has become the first site in the United Arab Emirates to make it to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
UNESCO has cited Al Ain’s distinguished cultural sites and the geological, archaeological and historic importance of sites throughout the city.
These include: Jebel Hafit, the 1,249 metre high peak – the highest in the emirate - which backdrops the city and which boasts 500 ancient burial tombs dating back 5,000 years in its foothills; the bronze and iron age sites of Al Hili; the tombs of the Bida Bin Saud area as well as Al Ain’s ancient oases with their preserved traditional Al Falaj system which irrigated palm groves and farms.
“This long-sought accreditation will do much to lift the tourism potential of Al Ain and ADTA will move to leverage the listing as wide as possible,” said His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA).
“We also look to our expanding stakeholder base to leverage its own entrepreneurial instincts and skills to ensure that the anticipated increasing visitor demand for Al Ain is met in the most professional and respectful way possible.”
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority
Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority – which was recognised as the World’s Leading Tourist Board by the World Travel Awards in 2010 - has wide ranging responsibilities for managing and assisting the development of the emirate’s tourism industry and the marketing and promotion of the emirate as a world-class destination of distinction.
Its responsibilities include; destination marketing; infrastructure and product development and regulation and classification.
A key role is to create synergy in the international promotion of Abu Dhabi through close co-ordination with the emirate’s hotels, destination management companies, airlines and other public and private sector travel-related organisations.