Bahrain's Culture and National Heritage Sector is planning to bring the country's historical pearl diving back to life in Muharraq.
The idea is to take visitors on a physical trail of Muharraq that tells the story of the pearl diving industry.
Seven mini-zones with two to four properties in each have been identified and each zone will feature storyboards, telling parts of the story along the way.
The three-kilometre trail will start at the seaside and continue through the streets of Muharraq, including Al Qaysariya Suq, which heritage experts hope to preserve and turn into a cultural attraction.
The zones along the trail and three oyster beds north of Bahrain will be submitted as part of the World Heritage nomination.
Professor Herb Stovel, who is an international consultant for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) has been invited by the sector to advise on the nomination.
He said to be included on the World Heritage List, the site in Muharraq must have outstanding universal value.
"To make it onto the World Heritage List it must tell a story of compelling value about the development of humanity that will be shared by all societies," said the adviser.
Professor Stovel said the story of the historic pearl diving industry was compelling and the project should be supported even if there wasn't a nomination.
He also highlighted the importance of the pearling tradition in Bahrain, emphasising that it had largely died out by the 1930s following the discovery of oil and the invention of the cultured pearl.
"Muharraq partly lost its identity because of reclamation and there is no longer an original beach. There is a need to establish the idea of why houses are where they area."
Professor Stovel, Dr Rudolff and Unesco representative Karim Hendili have discussed the historical pearl diving initiative with residents of Muharraq - speaking with owners of buildings earmarked to be included in the trail and how they could support the project.
Sector officials aim to submit the nomination to Unesco on February 1 next year.
It will take 18 months for it to be reviewed and it will be considered for the World Heritage List by Unesco in 2010. Professor Stovel said having the pearl diving tradition on the World Heritage List would raise awareness about Bahrain's history and boost the tourism industry. "It's a way of joining the world club with those concerned with heritage." [email protected]