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Title: Architectural heritage in Saudi Arabia : between laws, organizational structures and implementation
Author: Albaqawy, G. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7964 1395
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2018
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Saudi Arabia has significant cultural heritage that faces challenges, at both local and national levels, to be acceptable as a valuable cultural resource. The country, in general, and the Ha'il region specifically, has important architectural, archaeological and urban heritage assets that has not been adequately researched, particularly with regard to how national heritage laws and organizational structures and local approaches to heritage management implementation impact on these resources. The government has begun encouraging cultural tourism through many initiatives, and much effort is being directed towards its development. The framework of this doctoral research has been shaped by the aim to identify the nature of the gap in Saudi Arabia in understanding the value of cultural heritage as the prime tourism resource, both tangible and intangible, at national and local levels. The research makes an important contribution to Saudi studies by addressing this gap through the investigation of, a) the laws, policies and regulations that direct and guide heritage development, b) the organizational structures that enforce these regulations, and c) the implementation processes that translate the laws into actions towards heritage sites development and user engagement. This is accomplished through an interdisciplinary approach to the survey, documentation, analysis and interpretation of the available laws, structures and resources nationally and locally, keeping the wider regional and international contexts of operation in mind. The gap in understanding the value of cultural heritage between national and local levels via laws, policies and regulations is confirmed by a disparate level of awareness of the different values of cultural heritage within its context. Analysis of the Saudi heritage laws within a broader and more dynamic regional and international context has identified flaws of the present law and its inadequate evolution over the past four decades. It has also highlighted how cultural heritage at national and local levels should be practiced by both communities and the administration towards identifying the best ways to decrease this gap. Heritage management and tourism organizational structures at national and local levels have affected the appropriate development of cultural heritage resources. The current structure highlights significant organizational gaps in effective cultural heritage management, as illustrated by the remits of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRA), which own heritage properties at a local level, and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTNH), which expects to provide the technical expertise. The High Commission for Development of a province (HCD) plays a significant role towards establishing ways of enhancing the organisational structure for the architectural/urban heritage and tourism sectors, particularly in combining power and knowledge as a main tool for the resolution of the conflicts that shape and affect the relationship between main players such as education, municipalities and tourism. Addressing the laws and organizational structures has led to the identification of ways for encouraging effective administrative stakeholder involvement by taking a holistic view of the heritage values and aiming towards public awareness. Extending from the laws and organizational structural issues, and taking Barzan District of the Ha'il region as a case study, the research finally explores how heritage management and tourism policies are actually implemented within a local context, and where the impediments lie. This is done keeping the wider developmental imperative in mind, i.e., how the significance of Ha'il's architectural heritage could contribute towards its economic and cultural development.
Supervisor: Bandyopadhyay, Soumyen ; Quattrone, Giamila Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral