Along the route of the Umayyad caliphate: strategic project to build cross-border cultural itineraries across seven countries

The Umayyad Caliphate was the most influent empire of the Mediterranean Basin for almost a century (661-750), establishing the first islamic dynasty and the Umayyad age which is generally considered as the formative period for Islamic arts and architecture. In Spain, the Umayyads continued reigning until 1031, under the name of Caliphate of Córdoba. 

This first islamic dynasty has left an outstanding cultural and architectural heritage throughout the Mediterranean countries which, unfortunately, has been underestimated from a tourist perspective. The UMAYYAD strategic project (Improvement of Mediterranean territorial cohesion through the setup of a tourist-cultural itinerary) will contribute to correct this lack and enhance the rich Umayyad heritage. 

To promote the Umayyad cultural legacy, the project will design and launch a tourism itinerary across 7 countries covering the original extension of the empire from the Atlantic to the Middle East. Other key activities include the creation of thematic tourism packages within the defined itinerary, the establishment of a common tourism brand, training actions for relevant stakeholders of the tourism sector (tour operators, policy-makers, etc.), as well as a museum and a documentary film dedicated to the Umayyad heritage. 

UMAYYAD is coordinated by the Foundation for the Legacy of al-Andalus (Spain, Andalucía). The partnership is composed of 14 relevant institutions in the field of tourism representing 7 different countries.

• Andalusia Council Chambers of Commerce (Spain, Andalucía) 
• Algarve Tourism Board (Portugal, Algarve) 
• Regional Direction of Culture of Algarve (Portugal, Algarve)
• Medieval Castles and Boroughs Circuit of Association (Italy, Sicilia) 
• Chambre Tuniso-Italienne de Commerce et Industrie (Tunisia, Tunis) 
• Association "Mediterranean Liaisons" (Tunisia, Tunis) 
• Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (Egypt) 
• Safadi Foundation (Lebanon) 
• Urban Planning Institute, Lebanese American University (Lebanon)
• Municipality of Jbeil-Byblos (Lebanon)
• Cultural Technologies for Heritage and Conservation (Jordan)
• International Development Co. AID-ME (Egypt, Al Iskandanyah)
• Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce "Alexandria Chamber" (Egypt, Al-Iskandanyah)
• European Association for the Professional and Cultural Development “Maimonides” (Spain, Andalucía)

The kick-off meeting took place on the 25th, 26th and 27th of June in Granada (Spain) gathering all project partners. During the event, it was announced that the Municipality of Jbeil-Byblos, one of the project partners, had just been selected as 2013 best tourism destination by the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the Academy for Excellence Awards in the Arab World.
The Municipality of Jbeil-Byblos takes part in two other running projects, i.e. I AM focusing on cultural heritage enhancement though innovative technologies and MED-3R dealing with sustainable waste management.

UMAYYAD has a total budget of € 4.153.653 including € 3.738.288 of Programme contribution (90%).  

Project fact sheet


Mr. Juan Manuel Cid

Project Coordinator

Andalusian Public Foundation El legado andalusí


+34 958 22 59 95