Documentation and Heritage Management Plan
Harat al-Aqr, Bahla Fort and Oasis
(UNESCO World Heritage Site)
One of the most ancient of Oman’s oasis settlements, Bahla has been inducted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list due to its unique architectural character. The gigantic mud brick fort (one of the largest in the world), the restoration of which was completed in November 2012, and the large expanse of agricultural lands associated with the settlement of Harat al-Aqr, give a unique character to this place which has been settled since at least the 2nd millennium BC.
About the project
The growing number of tourists who visit both the fort, the harat and well as the weekly market are an indicator of the extraordinary cultural and economic value which resides in the ancient heritage, and it is to the preservation of this value that this document is dedicated. In particular the preservation of Bahla’s palm groves and agricultural systems, closely related to the water channels which define the urban core of al-Aqr and irrigate the lush expanse of green which surrounds it, are essential to character of the site.
In an attempt to fulfil the UNESCO guidelines for the preservation of this high priority site, Oman’s Ministry of Culture and Heritage commissioned ArCHIAM to develop a highly detailed HMP for the settlement of al-Aqr, located immediately south of the Fort. The project has put forward preservation and development strategies that stretch beyond the urban confines of the settlement and include the oasis as a whole.