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Heritage Site : H.H. Sheikh Saeed House

The official residence of Sheikhs Saeed Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai (1912-1958) and grandfather of the present Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has been restored to stand proud again on the Shindagha end of Dubai Creek. The house, which dates from 1896, today houses a rare Collection of historic photographs, coins, stamps and documents that record Dubai’s history. Sheikh Saeed’s House overlooking the mouth of the Creek at Shindagha is a listed national monument that showcases the history of the development of Dubai. Dating back to 1896, this imposing building was once the seat of local government, the nucleus for political and social organizations of the day and the official residence of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, the father of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the architect of modern Dubai, and the grandfather of the present Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The ambitious restoration project, begun in 1986 won a coveted award from the Arab Cities Organization for the conservation of heritage buildings. Today, fully restored to its former glory, the building houses an impressive exhibition of photographs, paintings, lithographs and art objects that vividly portray the early development of the emirate. For those with interests in Arabian history, culture, and architecture, Sheikh Saeed’s House is well worth a visit. Architecture Typical of late nineteenth century Arabian architecture, Sheikh Saeed’s House is a fine example of Islamic art and building design. Vaulted, high beamed ceilings, arched doorways, sculpted windows overhangs and exquisite trellis screens, which were fashionable in the late 1800s, characterize this historic two storey building. On the ground floor, a large meeting room (majlis), spacious living rooms, storerooms and kitchen open onto a central courtyard that was shielded from the hot desert winds by high perimeter walls. The upper floor, with its many bedrooms and balconies which overlook the Creek, provide a spectacular view of the city’s skyline. The facade of the house is dominated by what is, perhaps, the world’s earliest form of air conditioning - four elegant wind towers (Barjeel) that were the traditional means of cooling the interior during the sultry months of summer. Artifacts Some of the earliest coinage, stamps and postal stationery used in Dubai are on display at Sheikh Saeed’s House. Exhibits include rare coins dating back to 1791, as well as Dubai’s first postage stamp, and currency notes issued during the reign of the late Sheikh Rashid. Invaluable documents - letters, treaties, agreements, decrees and maps - and manuscripts that have literally shaped the history of modern Dubai are also available for viewing. Visiting Hours: Saturday-Thursday: 08:00-20:30 daily Friday: 15:00-21:30 Ramadan Saturday-Thursday: 09:00-17:00 Friday: 14:00-17:00 Telephone: 04-3937139


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