STONES SPEAK: Hail’s rock art shows numerous inscriptions covering 10,000 years of history and depicts the daily life of people in the prehistoric period.

Saudi Arabia Visa - Al Khobar: The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has praised the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH)

for protecting the country’s heritage.

Taleb Al-Refai, secretary general of the UNWTO, said the new name of the body reflects this focus, and congratulated Prince Sultan bin Salman, the SCTNH chairman, for his work in the tourism sector.

“The UNWTO will continue to support the SCTNH’s efforts, and the partnership between the two parties will be further enhanced in future,” said Al-Rifai.

Last week, Hail’s rock art was included in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List.

The addition represents a new historic achievement for the Kingdom, said Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Ghabban, vice president of the SCTNH.

“Hail’s rock art is the first such location in the Arabian Peninsula registered on the World Heritage List. It shows numerous inscriptions covering 10,000 years of history.”

He said the rock art shows the daily life of people in the prehistoric period, with numerous representations of human and animal figures, fishing activities, religious practices and social customs.

The official said the site was important because there is a lack of information on the Neolithic period.

He said that the SCTNH had worked to register the site with the United Nations by cooperating with local and international teams.

The commission has set up visitors’ centers and other facilities, while the Ministry of Transport has built a road to the site.”

Al-Ghabban thanked Prince Sultan and Hail Gov. Prince Saud bin Abdul Mohsen for their support.

Saudi Arabia has currently four sites listed with UNESCO, including Madain Saleh, Diriyah and Jeddah’s Al-Balad historic district. The latest addition was made on June 3 during the World Heritage Committee’s 39th session in Bonn, Germany. Source: arabnews