Workshop on Digital Documentation

The UNESCO chair for World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Management at the German University of Technology in Oman held today its first activity  “the First Workshop on Digital Documentation for World Heritage in the Arab region”. The workshop comes as part of the Dive into Heritage initiative which is funded by the Ministry of Culture in Saudi Arabia and implemented in the region by the UNESCO chair for World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism management in the Arab Region and the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage in Bahrain. The opening ceremony was held under the auspices of His Excellency Ibrahim bin Saied Al Kharusi undersecretary of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism for Heritage. Prof. Dr Heba Aziz Director of the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage and UNESCO chairholder at GUtech addressed the guests and participants highlighting the importance of innovative technologies for the management and conservation of heritage. Prof. Michael Braun Rector of the German University of Technology in Oman GUtech welcomed the participants and guests to GUtech and stressed the role of technology in enhancing the engagement of youth in heritage; and the new opportunities that it avails to the future of youth in Oman and the region. Sheikh Ibrahim bin Mohamed Al Khalifa deputy director of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage expressed the centres commitment to consolidate its connection to the Universities in the region and to the works of UNESCO The first workshop gathers site managers, emerging heritage professionals and students from Arab States, 37 participants from Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Sudan are to learn more about digital tools to document and model World Heritage sites. Participants will learn the basics in surveying and data acquisition as well as data processing methods for 3D models of cultural heritage sites. The workshop includes theoretical lectures (3D surveying, photogrammetry, laser scanning) taking place at the German University of Technology in Oman and practical work in the field at the UNESCO World Heritage property of Bahla Fort Oman At the end of the workshop, the participants will present the outcomes of their field recording work and data processing and should be able to understand the full digital workflow and its different stages. The workshop is expected to equip the participants with knowledge and skills to improve the documentation and conservation of World Heritage sites in the Arab region and their Outstanding Universal Value, and contribute to the preservation and promotion of these sites. The Dive into Heritage project is an important step towards making UNESCO World Heritage more accessible by using the latest technologies available and safeguarding it for our future generations. Mohamed Buzian representative of UNESCO mentioned in his opening remarks that the initiative aims at creating an innovative online platform to present digital data of World Heritage sites in the Arab region and its related intangible heritage. Generously funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through the Programme on Culture and Digital Technologies, the Dive into Heritage project is currently in its Pilot Phase and runs until 31 December 2024.

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