Locations that lost their UNESCO World Heritage Status

by Jules on March 2, 2013

Earning UNESCO status can really put a destination firmly on the global tourist map. But did you know that UNESCO status can also be revoked? In fact only 2 sites so far have been delisted from the World Heritage List;

Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, Oman, UAE

The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary in Oman was first awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1994 thanks to the abundance of oryx (large antelope species) to be found in the region. However extensive poaching reduced the number of oryx almost to distinction in Oman. In fact in 1996 there were an estimated 450 oryx and at the time of delisting there were just 65 animals remaining. And the discovery of oil within the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary reduced the size of the park by 90%. In 2007 the decision was taken to remove the UNESCO status.

Dresden Elbe Valley, Germany

The Elbe Valley in Dresden is close to the border with the Czech Republic. The picturesque Elbe Valley was awarded UNESCO status in 2004 thanks to the outstanding natural beauty. However the impending construction of the Waldschlösschen Bridge caused the site to be delisted in 2009. From the start the construction of the bridge was controversial. Although the bridge was desperately needed to ease traffic congestion within Dresden, the downside was the World Heritage Status would be lost as the bridge would cut right across the Elbe Valley. The decision was so important it actually went to a referendum and after various delays the bridge now spans the Elbe Valley. The Waldschlösschen Bridge spans 750 meters and is up to 45 meters wide in places and has its own dedicated webcam.

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