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Saudi Arabia's Al-Ahsa desert oasis becomes UNESCO World Heritage site

Saudi Arabia, June 30, 2018

Al-Ahsa Oasis in the Eastern Province has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), said on Friday.
The decision was made during meetings of the World Heritage Committee in Bahrain’s capital Manama.
Al-Ahsa Oasis is the fifth Saudi site to join UNESCO’s World Heritage list following Madain Saleh (2008), Tarif neighborhood in Diriyah (2010), Historic Jeddah (2014), and the Rock art in the Hail region (2015).
Prince Sultan thanked King Salman for his constant keenness to register Saudi historic sites as World Heritage sites, and for the special care he gives to the country’s national heritage.
Prince Sultan also thanked Eastern Province Gov. Prince Saud bin Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, Al-Ahsa Gov. Prince Badr bin Mohammed Al-Jalawi, and Al-Ahsa Mayor Adel Al-Mulhim.
Prince Sultan praised the people of Al-Ahsa for their keenness to restore its historical and cultural status as one of Saudi Arabia’s most important inhabited cities dating back to the 5th millennium BC. Al-Ahsa has been known throughout history for its agricultural practices and irrigation systems, he said.
Al-Ahsa is the largest date-palm oasis in the world, with about 3 million trees. It is particularly famous for the khalasah date — known in Saudi Arabia as khlas — which is routinely named in polls as the best date in the world.