Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahsa Oasis and Oman’s ancient city of Qalhat have been recognised.

Three new sites have been awarded world heritage status by UNESCO – and two are located in the Gulf region.

Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ahsa Oasis and Oman’s ancient city of Qalhat were added to the UN cultural organisation’s famous heritage list on Friday, alongside the Thimlich Ohinga archeological site in Kenya.

Located in the eastern Arabian Peninsula, the Al-Ahsa Oasis is a property made up of gardens, canals, springs, wells, and a drainage lake, as well as historical buildings, urban fabric and archaeological sites.

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“They represent traces of continued human settlement in the Gulf region from the Neolithic to the present, as can be seen from remaining historic fortresses, mosques, wells, canals and other water management systems,” UNESCO said.

“With its 2.5 million date palms, it is the largest oasis in the world.”

The ancient city of Qalhat, located on the east coast of Oman, developed as a major port between the 11th and 15th centuries CE, during the reign of the Hormuz princes.

“Today it bears unique archeological testimony to the trade links between the east coast of Arabia, East Africa, India, China and South East Asia,” UNESCO added.

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has been meeting in Bahrain since June 24, and will be making decisions on dozens more nominated places until July 1.

Among those in the running is Dubai Creek, the iconic waterway that runs through Old Dubai. This would be just the second world heritage site for the UAE – back in 2011, the Al Ain Oasis was added to the list.

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Main image: Getty