Cultural Site Management for the Qal’at of Bahrain

Client : The World Heritage Center on Behalf of the Government of Bahrain

Location : Manama- Bahrain

Year : 2003- 2005

The Project centers on the preparation of a Management Plan for the Site of Qala’at al Bahrain in coordination with the Directorate of Heritage & Culture of the Ministry of Information in Bahrain, for the nomination of the site to the World Heritage List. Work was conducted in close coordination with the World Heritage Center. After the preparation of the management plan, the Site was nominated to the World Heritage List and was then listed in 2006.

Developing a management plan for the Site went through different stages:

- A. Identification, Observation, and Description:

Heritage, archaeological, tourism, and socio-economic contexts were thoroughly researched in addition to a detailed stakeholder analysis.

- B. Assessment and Analysis:

This included an assessment of the significance of the site and its immediate surroundings (diversity of the values) through time. This included an understanding of the role the site played in the formation of national Bahraini identity through time. A detailed assessment of previous conservation works was conducted. In addition, the analysis included an assessment of environmental contexts and future threats and also the consequences and adverse effects of future development projects around and near the Site that might have a serious impact on the authenticity of the whole location. This demanded through coordination with local authorities to insure the future status for the surrounding areas around that site that would not jeopardize its values and authenticity.

- C. Management Plan Strategies and Mechanisms:

Policies addressing ownership of the Site in addition to a cultural tourism management and development framework were put forward. Then, objectives and strategies were put forward in terms of:

• Future plans and programs for excavation, conservation and interpretation of archaeological and heritage resources

• Future plans for tourism visitation management and site interpretation, events management, and site promotion.

• Detailed staffing and expertise levels needed in addition to the qualifications and responsibility of each of the recommended staff members.

In addition, various action projects were selected based on well-researched criteria. The Action Projects emerged from the different development needs and from the various concerns and needs of the site such as interpretation of the site to the general public and capacity building for future staff.