A list of about 16 historical mosques, known for handmade carvings out of stone architecture, in Maldives will be submitted to the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for inclusion in the World Heritage List, the Heritage Department said in media reports.

The tentative list of the mosques includes the Friday Mosque in the capital Male; the ancient mosques in Haa Alif atoll Baarah, Kelaa and Utheemu; Dharumavantha Rasgefaanu Mosque, Eid Mosques and Kalhuvakaru Mosque in Male; the ancient mosque in Raa atoll Meedhoo; the ancient mosque in Alif Dhaal Fenfushi; the ‘Geiy Miskiy’ and ‘Kedeyri Miskiy’ in Fuvahmulah; and the mosque at the ‘Koagannu’ area in Seenu atoll Hulhu-Meedhoo.

Maldives hopes to get some of these mosques listed as UNESCO's World Heritage Sites to bring them under international spotlight.

However, according to state tourism minister Ahmed Naseer, very less information is available about these historical sites, which is the biggest challenge in promoting the places internationally.

“We need information that the international community can use, in order to include those sites in lists such as the World Heritage List. The lack of a national list of historical sites and available information makes it difficult to get involved in such lists,” he said.

Maldives is also looking for ways the sites can be developed into a tourist attraction, the heritage department said.