Updated 18 April 2019

Six sites across the Arab world to explore on World Heritage Day

Thursday marks World Heritage Day, so read on for some of the region’s most fascinating UNESCO-listed sites.

  • Al-Hijr archaeological site

    Al-Hijr is the first UNESCO World Heritage property to be inscribed in Saudi Arabia. It is the largest conserved site of the Nabataean civilization south of Petra in Jordan and is home to monumental tombs with decorated facades.

  • Al-Turaif District

    Founded in the 15th century, this Saudi fort complex was built in the Najdi architectural style.

  • Baalbek

    The Phoenician city of Baalbek, east of the Litani River in Lebanon, hosts some of the region’s most unique and well-preserved Roman temples.

  • Bethlehem

    Bethlehem is situated just south of Jerusalem on the site identified by Christian tradition as the birthplace of Jesus. The Church of the Nativity, built in the 4th century and reconstructed in the 6th century, holds prominent religious significance for both Christians and Muslims.

  • Amphitheatre of El-Jem at Mahdia

    Built during the 3rd century, the amphitheatre in Tunisia is the largest built outside of Italy, with a capacity of 35,000 seats.

  • Cultural sites of Al-Ain

    Located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the ruins include circular stone tombs from 2500 BC, towers and an Iron Age irrigation system.