Cultural Sites of Al Ain (Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas)



CountryUnited Arab Emirates
UNESCO RegionArab States
CoordinatesN24 4 4 E55 48 23
Inscription Date2011
Property (ha)4,945
Buffer Zone (ha)7,605
Type of HeritageCultural
CriteriaTo bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared
CriteriaTo be an outstanding example of a type of building; architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history
CriteriaTo be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement; land-use; or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures); or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change
Unesco Reference Number1343
URLhttp://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1343
DescriptionThe Cultural Sites of Al Ain (Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas) constitute a serial property that testifies to sedentary human occupation of a desert region since the Neolithic period with vestiges of many prehistoric cultures. Remarkable vestiges in the property include circular stone tombs (ca 2500 B.C.), wells and a wide range of adobe constructions: residential buildings, towers, palaces and administrative buildings. Hili moreover features one of the oldest examples of the sophisticated aflaj irrigation system which dates back to the Iron Age. The property provides important testimony to the transition of cultures in the region from hunting and gathering to sedentarization.
StatusWorld Heritage Site