Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum’s house was the residence of the former ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and also served as the seat of government. This building which dates to 1894 has now been converted into a museum, and attracts many local and foreign visitors each year. Fully restored and renovated, the edifice stands proudly as a symbol of Dubai’s historical and cultural legacy. Today the house displays a valuable collection of coins, photographs, documents, lithographs, stamps, paintings and other artworks which depict the history of the Emirate.
Considered to be amongst the most ancient residences in the metropolis, the house was built employing traditional construction techniques. The walls were built using coral from the sea, which was treated with plaster and lime.
When the mansion was initially constructed, the residents could enjoy spectacular expansive views over the Gulf, and the patriarch could observe the shipbuilding activities being carried out. Although the amazing views have shrunk due to the modern development of the environs, visitors will enjoy experiencing at first hand the mode of life of the Sheikh and his family.
A typical example of the local architecture of the latter years of the 19th century, the residence is considered to be a splendid specimen of traditional Islamic architecture. The visitor will see arched doorways, vaulted ceilings with high beams, elaborate trellis screens and sculpted window overhangs within this handsome building.
The ground floor features expansive living rooms, a large chamber for meetings, kitchen and storerooms, all of which open on to a centrally situated courtyard which is protected from the dry desert breezes by high walls. Meanwhile the upper storey was where the ruling family resided, and features numerous balconies and bedrooms.
The visitor will also see what is probably the earliest kind of air conditioning; four handsome wind towers which functioned as a way of cooling the building’s interior in the hot summer months when the surrounding area was warm and dry.
With so much to offer, this residence always rewards those who take the opportunity to visit it.
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