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World Heritage Site

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Al-Ahsa Oasis

Al-Ahsa Oasis

Al-Ahsa Oasis, an Evolving Cultural Landscape, is one of the largest natural agricultural palm oases in the world.

Al-Ahsa has been inhabited since prehistoric times, due to its abundance of water in an otherwise arid region. This is a serial site of 12 locations. They comprise palm groves, castles, urban centers, archaeological sites, villages, Jawatha mosque and Al-Asfar Lake.

Map of Al-Ahsa Oasis


  • Cultural

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Site Info

Full name: Al-Ahsa Oasis, an evolving Cultural Landscape

Unesco ID: 1563

Inscribed: 2018

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 3   4   5  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2018 - Advisory Body overruled From Not to Inscribe to Inscription (amendment prepared by Kuwait and others)
  • 2018 - Inscribed 
  • 2015 - Revision includes former TWHS Ibrahim Palace (Hufuf) and Sahud Palace (Al-Mabraz) both 1988


The site has 12 locations. Show all

  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: ‘Ain Qinas archaeological site
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: Al-‘Oyun Village
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: Al-Asfar Lake
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: As Seef
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: Eastern Oasis
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: Jawatha archaeological site
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: Jawatha Mosque
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: Northern Oasis
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: Qasr Ibrahim
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: Qasr Khuzam
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: Qasr Sahood
  • Al-Ahsa Oasis: Souq Al-Qaisariyah


The site has 12 connections.




  • Hot Springs: "the oasis also boosts warm and hot water springs, which can reach 90 Fahrenheit. Ain Najm is the most important hot water spring in Al-Ahsa, famed for its hot sulphurous water." See  Link


  • Neolithic age: The earliest occupation of Al-Ahsa is in the location of the present Al-Hofuf, where remains from pre-ceramic Neolithic culture (before 6000 BCE) have been found. (AB ev)
  • Ottoman Empire: Qasr Ibrahim in the city center of Al-Hofuf is the main architectural built heritage from the Ottoman period of Al-Hofuf (AB ev)

Human Activity

  • Palm Groves: numerous densely cultivated palm groves (AB ev)
  • Sea Ports: Al Uquair Port
  • Irrigation and drainage: The circular urban shape of the villages of Al-Ahsa resulted from an irrigation canal on one side and a drainage canal on the other side circling the village as a result of the developed water management systems in Al-Ahsa (AB ev)

Religion and Belief

  • Mosque: Jawatha Mosque - the earliest mosque built in east Arabia (wiki)


  • Built in the 7th century: Jawatha Mosque ( c. 629 AD) + "Al-Ahsa reached its maximum integration and size during the Islamic period (from 661 to the 10th century CE)." (AB ev)

World Heritage Process


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