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Rijal Alma on way to become UNESCO Heritage Site
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 05 - 03 - 2017

Rijal Alma Heritage Village in the southern Asir region would most find a place in the Heritage List of UNESCO.
A formal voting in this regard will be held at the UNESCO session in January 2018, according to Muhamamd Al-Omra, director general of the Asir branch of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH).
"A UNESCO team visited the village and it was briefed on the salient features of the village to get listed as a Heritage Site," the Saudi Press Agency reported quoting him as saying.
Al-Omra thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and SCTH President Prince Sultan Bin Salman for their utmost keenness in preserving this unique heritage site in the Kingdom.
The ambitious renovation project of the village has bagged first prize in the category of urban heritage among Arabian cities announced recently in Doha, he added.
Rijal Alma, about 45 kilometers west of Abha, is one of the most prominent cultural and archeological destinations in the Kingdom. Situated at the foot of the Assouda Mountain on an ancient trade route connecting Yemen, Makkah and the Red Sea, Rijal Alma is called a stone village because it was laboriously built from local stone. Some buildings are up to seven stories high and accented in gleaming white quartz.
The mountainous region has Markaz Assouda as its border to the east, Mahayil Asir to the north, Darb to the south and the Red Sea in the west.
Easily accessible from the cable car that extends from the Assouda National Park complex, it is a place full of history and tradition, well preserved and clearly oriented to tourism.
Rijal Alma has become an increasingly popular attraction for visitors, tourists and archeologists. The most important attraction of the village is its archeological and historical landmarks, which stand out as a witness to the depth of its civilization.


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