During January 2024, eleven ships were restored, and two new ships were built using traditional local techniques.
The Maritime Heritage Program aims to preserve the history and legacy of the Red Sea region by involving local communities in the preservation of their tourist regions.
A Celebration of Maritime Heritage
The initiative focuses on restoring sailing ships, a significant aspect of the region’s rich maritime heritage. Historically, these vessels have been crucial in transporting goods and passengers across neighboring countries and cities.
Red Sea Global’s initiative aims to safeguard this legacy for the local community, highlighting the importance of these traditional crafts in the region’s history and culture.
“I am delighted to witness RSG’s contributions and initiatives aimed at preserving the history and legacy of the Red Sea region. These efforts serve as a significant affirmation of the community’s role in shaping the future of our destinations. Local heritage is a source of great pride, enhancing our identity as a tourist destination proud of its heritage and community, and plays a crucial role for individuals who find support in maintaining pride in their professions as it endures and flourishes across successive generations” said Engineer Ahmad Darwish, Chief Administrative Officer at RSG.
Weekly Events and Activities
Red Sea Global organized weekly events throughout January 2024 as part of the initiative. These events took place at Souq Amerah in the city of Umluj and included various activities to engage the local community.
The highlight of these events was the workshops dedicated to traditional shipbuilding. These workshops allowed the younger community members to learn about this age-old craft, helping ensure its preservation for future generations.
In addition to the workshops, various stalls were set up to support locals in showcasing and selling their products. These stalls served as platforms for local artisans and craftspeople to share their work with the community and visitors alike, further enriching the cultural experience of the event.
Emphasis on Sustainability
RSG’s initiative goes beyond cultural preservation, strongly focusing on environmental sustainability. Its collaboration with the Oil Sustainability Program (OSP) reflects this commitment to sustainability.
The OSP contributed to the initiative by ensuring the implementation of the best environmental practices during the restoration process.
One of the key ways the OSP supported the initiative was by supplying environmentally friendly paint to restore the ships. This was done under local fishermen’s and their families’ supervision, creating a strong sense of community involvement and ownership in the project.
Partnership with the Private Sector
Besides collaborating with the OSP, Red Sea Global partnered with the private sector, represented by JOUTN, to supply environmentally friendly paint.
This partnership illustrates RSG’s commitment to engaging with various stakeholders in its initiatives, fostering a sense of shared responsibility and cooperation.
Community Acclaim and UNESCO Recognition
The initiative has been met with widespread acclaim within the community, captivating the hearts of men, women, and children alike. It has also attracted the attention of visitors to the region, who have expressed admiration for preserving this ancient heritage.
Recognizing its efforts, the initiative has been registered with UNESCO under the ‘Marine Heritage to preserve skills linked to restoring Heritage sailboats.’ This recognition underscores the initiative’s importance in preserving tangible and intangible marine heritage.
A closing ceremony was attended by several prominent figures representing the Heritage Commission, UNESCO, and notable figures in the Umluj Governorate to promote sustainability in every aspect and prioritize the protection of local heritage.
This project seeks to revive a forgotten craft and transfer its knowledge to future generations to ensure its preservation and continuation.
Preserving Heritage for Future Generations
Red Sea Global’s maritime heritage restoration initiative is more than just a one-off event. It is part of a broader commitment to preserving local heritage and fostering community pride.
By reviving a craft that has faded away and passing it on to new generations, Red Sea Global is helping to ensure the conservation and continuation of this rich maritime legacy.
As the initiative moves forward, Red Sea Global will continue to work with its partners and the local community to develop further and expand its efforts.
With its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and cultural preservation, this initiative is a model for future projects to preserve and revive local heritage.