King Abdullah to patronize the opening of the First International Conference for Urban Heritage today


Under the auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, the First International Conference of Urban Heritage in the Islamic Countries (UHIC) will be launched on Sunday, May 23, at the King Faisal Hall for Conferences at the Riyadh Intercontinental Hotel, during the period May 23-28, 2010.

The conference will be held under the theme, “Economic Development for Valued Urban Heritage,” and it will be attended by 25 ministers from Islamic countries and 10 Arab and regional organizations. In addition, 42 high-profile speakers will participate in conducting the seminars and workshops, which will accompany the conference – 25 of them are international speakers in addition to the participation of 162 researchers. The conference is scheduled to include a series of 5 seminars and 24 workshops to review the current status of urban heritage in the Islamic countries and modern approaches to activate its economic and social aspects. It will review a number of successful international experiences in the field of urban heritage development, besides the prospects of transforming it into an economic source.

The seminars will discuss a series of issues, the most important of which are: “Urban Heritage… issues and vision,” “Pioneers of urban heritage preservations,” “Rehabilitation of urban heritage buildings for investment,” “Heritage hotels,” and “Cities’ experiences in urban heritage preservation,” among others. Working sessions will discuss issues of “Economic dimensions of urban heritage,” “Examples of urban heritage preservation,” “Successful projects in the field of urban heritage investment,” “Quality and areas of creativity and research,” “Status quo for urban heritage,” and a session on “Quality and areas of creative research.”

Several events will be held on the margin of the conference, such as an exhibition at the Intercontinental hotel, in which 42 public and private sector establishments are participating. The National Museum will hold “The Wonders of Islamic Heritage Exhibition,” in addition to a handicrafts exhibition at Mamar Al-Zohoor at King Abdullah road, in which 65 craftsmen will present live performances, with workshops from 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Moreover, during the period of the conference, the Kingdom’s urban heritage will be celebrated around the Kingdom through a series of exhibitions, tourism trips, cultural events, and many other activities, in Riyadh, Al-Madina Al-Munawara, Makkah Al-Mukarama, Aseer, Najran, Hail, Tubuk, Jouf, and Jazan. In addition, the Ministry of Education will organize Heritage Week in all schools, in collaboration with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA) in which competitions, lectures, familiarization trips, and brochures will be distributed to bring awareness about the importance of urban heritage and preserving it.

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