World Her­itage sites of Bat and Al Khutm to get tourism fa­cil­i­ties

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

The Unesco World Her­itage sites of Bat and Al Khutm will soon get tourism fa­cil­i­ties that will boost Oman’s pro­file as a coun­try rich in mil­len­nia-old ar­chae­o­log­i­cal won­ders.

The Min­istry of Her­itage and Cul­ture signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) with Al Tas­nim Group on Mon­day to build a vis­i­tor cen­tre at the Bat site and de­velop the sur­round­ing of the Khutm Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Tower. The three ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites of Bat, Al Khutm and Al Ayn to­gether form the Unesco World Her­itage site.

Lo­cated east of Ibri in Dhahi­rah, the pro­to­his­toric ar­chae­o­log­i­cal com­plex of Bat, Al Khutm and Al Ayn rep­re­sents one of the most com­plete and well pre­served en­sem­bles of set­tle­ments and necrop­olises from the third mil­len­nium BC in the world.

The MoU was signed by H E Salim bin Muham­mad al Mahrouqi, Un­der­sec­re­tary for Her­itage Af­fairs, and De­vaki Khimji, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Al Tas­nim Group.

In a state­ment H E Mahrouqi said, “In­vest­ment by the pri­vate sec­tor in the her­itage sec­tor is a novel way to adopt and sup­port projects that con­cern the wider so­ci­ety, sup­port tourism and pro­vide lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties with a va­ri­ety of work op­por­tu­ni­ties, as well as help de­velop the cul­tural di­men­sion.”

He said that the project, which costs around RO700,000RO800,000, pro­vides a model for pri­vate com­pa­nies to carry out sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives.

De­vaki stated that it was a mat­ter of pride for the com­pany to con­trib­ute to build­ing and de­vel­op­ing the so­ci­ety and be an ef­fec­tive part­ner of the min­istry in sup­port­ing sus­tain­able eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

The Min­istry of Her­itage and Cul­ture is also de­vel­op­ing a new man­age­ment plan which will fo­cus on three points, namely: to pro­tect the site from de­struc­tion by reg­u­lat­ing ac­cess to and de­vel­op­ment of spe­cific parts of the site; to pro­mote un­der­stand­ing of the mean­ing of each site and mon­u­ment through sci­en­tific study of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal re­mains and the con­tem­po­rary land­scape.

It will also help pro­mote the dis­sem­i­na­tion of these stud­ies through the de­vel­op­ment of an in­ter­pre­tive pro­gramme ori­ented for lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional tourism, in­clud­ing the cre­ation of one or more in­ter­pre­ta­tion cen­tre at the site.

(Sup­plied photo)

H E Mahrouqi and De­vaki Khimji ink the MoU

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