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Dubai United Arab Emirates


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Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House

This imposing building distinguished by its four elegant wind-towers, stands along the famous Creek of Bur Dubai. It was built in 1896 and was the residence of the Ruler. It takes its name from Shaikh Saeed Al Maktoum, who resided there until his death in 1958.

Originally strategically situated at the mouth of Dubai's lifeline, the Creek, this carefully restored museum now lies close to the Bur Dubai side of the Shindagha Tunnel and next to the Heritage and Diving Village.

Shaikh Saeed House is built in the traditional manner of the Gulf Coast, from coral covered in lime and plaster. The house has a large courtyard in the style of residences of the olden days. It is partly single, and partly two-storied, comprising a large number of rooms, verandas and bath rooms, divided into independent family units.

Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House Dubai United Arab Emirates

There are two entrances to the building. The main entrance is from the Creek side, through a security yard, from where is the entrance to the main majlis and guest rooms. The yard leads also to the main courtyard, around which are distributed five separate family units, each of which consists of a veranda, majlis and rooms. The second entrance is on the rear side of the building, and was probably reserved for family members.

Dubai Municipality appointed a specialized Consultant to carry out a thorough survey of the building and its deterioration, and then plan its restoration. The work was commenced in 1984, and completed two years later using traditional building materials and techniques, and where necessary, strengthening the structure with modern materials.

Infinite care was taken in the restoration of the architectural elements of the building. The restoration is remarkable for its carved teak wood doors and windows, architraves and wooden lattice screens, and the balustrades of railings. The pierced gypsum ventilating screens have floral and geometric designs, and are set into the thick walls.

The House is now converted into a Museum of Historical Photographs and Documents of the Emirate of Dubai and illuminated at night with flood-lights; it stands as a reminder of Dubai's rich architectural heritage and culture.

 


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