Sharjah's Mleiha and Al Dhaid Fort added to Islamic World Heritage list

The two archeological sites have been recognised for their historical significance

Al Dhaid Fort has made it onto the Islamic World Heritage List. Photo: Sharjah Government Media Bureau
Powered by automated translation

Two archaeologically significant sites in Sharjah have been added to the Islamic World Heritage list.

The Mleiha site and Al Dhaid Fort, which includes Falaj, have been recognised for their historical and archaeological significance.

Located in the central region of Sharjah, the Mleiha site has been has been included due to its cultural influence during the pre-Islamic period.

There have been a number of archaeological discoveries in the area over the years, pointing to the crucial role Mleiha has played in trade across the Arabian Peninsula and as a link from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea.

Al Dhaid Fort and Falaj, located between the Hajar Mountains, Jiri Plain and desert, are also sites that have played a pivotal role in the region's history.

Dating back to the early 18th century, Al Dhaid Fort is a square-shaped building that is 32 metres long and 26 metres wide. It was restored between 2017 and 2021. At the time, the fort was used as a fortification to the city of Al Dhaid and was considered an important stronghold for the ruling families of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

Falaj is considered the oldest archaeological evidence of life in Sharjah, distinguished by ancient engineering techniques of the Aflaj irrigation system to Al Dhaid. The Al Dhaid site also shows evidence of human existence going back hundreds of thousands of years.

The Islamic World Heritage List is a prestigious international designation by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation or Icesco, an intergovernmental organisation established in 1982 working in the fields of education, science and culture.

The list aims to protect cultural and natural heritage sites of the Islamic world.

The latest inscription brings the total number of listed sites in Sharjah to three. In 2021, Al Hisn Fort in the heart of Sharjah was added to the Islamic World Heritage List.

Updated: December 19, 2023, 2:33 PM