DIVE INTO HERITAGE: A DIGITAL DOCUMENTATION PLATFORM OF WORLD HERITAGE PROPERTIES IN THE ARAB STATES REGION
Keywords: digital heritage, World Heritage, cultural heritage, intangible heritage, Arab Region, capacity building
Abstract. The world celebrated the 50 years of the World Heritage Convention. With more than 1000 cultural and natural sites, the 1972 World Heritage Convention is the most widely recognized. It has provided a framework for identifying, documenting, protecting, and managing the world's cultural and natural heritage with Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). The theme to mark this anniversary is: “The Next 50: World Heritage as a Source of Resilience, Humanity and Innovation”. These are the topics that have inspired the World Heritage Centre to develop, together with the Member States in the Arab Region, an online platform that leverages digital technologies to safeguard and promote the UNESCO World Heritage sites and its related intangible heritage, and transmit them to future generations. This paper discusses the current state of digital documentation of cultural heritage and the related projects/initiatives in the Arab States region. It presents the UNESCO Dive into Heritage initiative and its first outcomes. It concludes with lessons learned and future steps for the next phases of the project. First outcomes have revealed the big challenge of 3D data integration and the need to accompany the implementation stages of the project with capacity building.