The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Friday awarded world heritage status to the Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensemble in Mumbai and three sites in Kenya, Oman and Saudi Arabia. The ensemble is a collection of 19th century Victorian and 20th century Art Deco public buildings in Fort area of the city.
The 42nd session of the World Heritage Committee made the announcement following a meeting in Bahrain’s capital Manama.
Apart from the Mumbai ensembles, Unesco has added the Thimlich Ohinga archeological site in Kenya, ancient city of Qalhat in Oman and Al-Ahsa Oasis in Saudi Arabia to the World Heritage List. The Thimlich Ohinga archeological site was a dry stone-walled settlement probably built in the 16th century. It seems to have “served as a fort for communities and livestock, but also defined social entities and relationships linked to lineage,” Unesco said.
The city of Qalhat located on the east coast Oman “developed as a major port on the east coast of Arabia between the 11th and 15th centuries [Common Era]”, during the reign of the Hormuz princes, Unesco said. “Today it bears unique archaeological testimony to the trade links between the east coast of Arabia, East Africa, India, China and South-east Asia.”
“The Al-Ahsa Oasis in Saudi Arabia is a serial property comprising gardens, canals, springs, wells, a drainage lake, as well as historical buildings, urban fabric and archaeological sites,” Unesco said. Historic fortresses, mosques, wells, canals and other water management systems have been found at the site. “With its 2.5 million date palms, it is the largest oasis in the world,” the organisation added.