Preserving Intangible Heritage: A Framework for Assessing and Safeguarding Cultural Practices in Alula, Saudi Arabia


  • Sema Refae School of Engineering Computing & Design, Dar Al-Hekma University, Jeddah 22246, Saudi Arabia


Intangible Cultural Heritage, Alula, UNESCO, World Heritage Site, Saudi Arabia, Cultural Heritage Conservation


The study explored the preservation of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) in Alula, Saudi Arabia, focusing on farming techniques essential for local subsistence and ecosystem. Alula, a UNESCO World Heritage site, faces challenges due to environmental and social changes. The study employs a risk assessment framework that considers environmental, social, economic, and cultural aspects to assess local perspectives on ICH resources and activities. It also uses quantitative survey-based methodology and participatory techniques for stakeholder insights and change proposals. The study findings highlighted the importance of protecting ICH for cultural identity, community pride, and sustainable development despite low levels of participation and difficulties with intergenerational transfer. It emphasises the need for focused interventions to address these challenges. The suggested framework aligns with Saudi Vision 2030 and the Royal Commission for Alula, aiming to enhance the preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and support worldwide initiatives for its protection and promotion. However, the study findings also have a limitation due to their focus on a specific population, primarily women aged 36-45, and suggest that future research should consider diverse age groups and gender perspectives.


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How to Cite

Rafae, S. (2024). Preserving Intangible Heritage: A Framework for Assessing and Safeguarding Cultural Practices in Alula, Saudi Arabia. History and Cultural Innovation, 1(1), 25–34. Retrieved from