The Umayyad Route
The UMAYYAD Route is a European Neighborhood Program Initiative–Cross Border Collaboration in the Mediterranean (ENPI-CBC MED) aimed at promoting sustainable tourism based an itinerary between the seven countries of the first Islamic Dynasty, the Umayyad Dynasty.
The project involves 14 partners from Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt, Portugal, Spain and Italy. In Lebanon, the partners are the Lebanese American University (LAU), Byblos Municipality and the Safadi Foundation in collaboration with the ministries of Culture and Tourism.
The scope of this project includes:
- Management and coordination.
- Analysis of cultural heritage and local economic situation within the tourism sector in each partner country.
- Identification and exchange of good practices between European Union Mediterranean countries and Mediterranean partner countries.
- Joint design and development of project strategy, highlighting three basic action axes:
- Promotion of sustainable tourism through cultural heritage support
- Diversification of the supply of tourism services
- Tourist infrastructure
- Application of best practices and creation of a cross-border network implemented through pilot action: launch of Umayyad cultural itinerary.
- Communication and dissemination.
The project should present the following outcomes:
- Design of a specific Mediterranean common tourist brand within the Umayyad itinerary.
- Establishment of a museum in one of the Mediterranean partner countries. (This has already been fulfilled with the selection of the LAU Louis Cardahi Foundation to house the project’s outputs).
- Identification and transfer of good practices in cultural tourism.
- Stimulation of initiatives between the public and private sectors.
- Establishment of a Mediterranean Cultural Tourism Network.
- Design of an integrated strategy composed of three dimensions: cultural heritage, diversification of the supply of tourism services and tourist infrastructure.
- Specific training for stakeholders in the tourism sector.
- Organization of thematic forums and rounds tables.
- Set up of a tourist toolkit: thematic holiday/travel packages.
- 10. Identification of commercialization channels.
The project received funding in December 2012, and its official kick-off meeting was held in June 2013. After lasting for 36 months, it totaled a budget of €4,153,653.
Routes through thousand-year lands, packed with history, and the Mediterranean Sea revealing the paths traversed by the Umayyad civilization.