MANAGEMENT OF PETRA
Overview: who manages Petra?
The Petra Development and Tourism Regional Authority (PDTRA), established in 2009 is mandated with managing the entire Petra Region (755 km2) including the Petra Archaeological Park (PAP) which covers (264 km2) of the land. The Park, a subordinate organization of the PDTRA, is mandated with the management of the Park. Jurisdiction over archaeological research, conservation, restoration and preservation however, lies with the Department of Antiquities, a subordinate Department to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.
Designations of the Park:
- Petra was inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites in 1985;
- On four occasions, between 1996 and 2002, Petra was placed on the World Monuments Watch list of the 100 Most Endangered Sites; and
- In July 2007, Petra was voted on the list of the New World’s Seven Wonders.
Since 1934, Petra was managed remotely from the capital Amman by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities. In compliance with the recommendation of UNESCO in its management plan of 1994, the Council of Ministers launched the Petra Regional Council (PRC) in 1995 to manage the archaeological Park from within the Region.
The PRC was officially established by the government of Jordan so as to protect Petra as a World Heritage Site including the “Sanctuary” area and to protect the archaeological, cultural and environmental features of the surrounding areas. Since its establishment, the Park’s ruling body has evolved over the span of 15 years and acquired its own laws with financial and administrative independence reporting directly to the Prime Minister.
In September 2009, Law Number 15 was enacted to define the Petra Development and Tourism Region and the inauguration of PDTRA. The intent was to streamline the management of the Petra Region and the Park with a focus on tourism. The establishment of the PDTRA heralded in a change in the management of the PAP and the Region. As such the new management structure for Petra is responsible for developing a comprehensive strategy and specific controls for protecting the Park. There is, however, a caveat in the new law that designates the responsibility of conservation to the Department of Antiquities.
The PDTRA’s new role is the development of the Petra Region economically capitalising on its potentials in tourism, among other areas such as local community development, heritage management and protection, and the environment. The mandate of the PDTRA focuses on several areas, including:
- Managing and protecting the Petra Archaeological Park
- Developing tourism
- Zoning and land use
- Stimulating investment
- Improving socio-economic conditions of local communities
- Sustainable development across the region
Leadership and Governance
The PDTRA reports directly to the Prime Minister and is headed by a Chief Commissioner who is assisted by four Deputy Commissioners. The Deputy Commissioners make up a council called “Commissioners Council” that manage the Authority and oversee its affairs.
- PDTRA Chief Commissioner: Dr. Mohammad al-Nawafleh
- Vice Commissioner and Commissioner for the Petra Archaeological Park and Tourism Services: Dr. Emad Hijazeen
- Commissioner for Administrative and Financial Affairs: Dr. Riadh Shraideh
- Commissioner for Infrastructure and Investment: Dr. Tharwat Masalheh
- Commissioner for Development and Environment: Eng. Abdul Muni’m Abu Halala
Currently, the PAP Commissioner manages the Park in its entirety and reports directly to the Chief Commissioner for the PDTRA.