In Association with Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
Abu Dhabi, 9 December 2013 – Under the patronage of HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), Paris – Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (PSUAD) and TCA Abu Dhabi are organizing a continued education training program, entitled “Protecting Heritage Sites.”
As the need to protect the cultural heritage places is becoming a very important issue in the UAE, this training course will be an opportunity to reinforce the experience and knowledge of the members within local agencies and organizations.
The first session of this training course will take place in Abu Dhabi from December 8-19, 2013 and will broadly introduce the multidisciplinary themes of the course with classroom lecture held in Abu Dhabi at PSUAD. These courses will introduce heritage conventions, conservation theories and methods. The coursework will be supported by practical field exercises on the Cultural Sites of Al Ain, which were inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2011. The course will be taught by an international team of multidisciplinary experts involved in understanding, conserving, and managing World Heritage sites. A second session is planned for February 2014 and will delve into much more detail on the themes of the first session and address other issues such as cultural tourism, tourism management, and site presentation.
HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of TCA Abu Dhabi said; “These sites are a source of pride for our community as they represent who we are and how we came to be. But beyond the value they have to our people, they have also been internationally acknowledged with the 2011 UNESCO World Heritage inscription. Ensuring their long term conservation requires continued professional development for our highly specialised experts – including courses like this within the Arab region- so that these sites can be protected and shared with future generations.”
Prof. Eric Fouache, PSUAD Vice-Chancellor, underlined the importance of understanding international standards and charters to better appreciate, protect and promote heritage sites in collaboration with local and international partners in order to create opportunities for sustainable and responsible tourism.
He noted that, in its two sessions, the program will explore multidisciplinary themes, including methods in addition to offering seminars and field visits to the UAE’s major archaeological sites.
“The program aims to highlight the heritage, natural, and cultural wealth of the UAE by sharing with experts, academics, and professionals working in the field of archaeology, geography, conservation and management successful experiences from around the world. The program will discuss best practices in assessing the values of sites in order to develop the most adapted approaches for their conservation, presentation and management. The course will also touch on the need for and means of developing a sustainable tourism industry, that is, one that favors the long term protection of site and its surrounding environment ,” he said.
By the end of the program, participants will have acquired a critical approach to protecting heritage sites by gaining an understanding of the larger issues at stake including heritage management, tourism impact, site presentation, and the pressures of development.