The Monumental Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House in Dubai
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum is an ancient building. It was initially the residential quarter of the former ruler of Dubai Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum. This beautiful structure was erected in 1896 along the Dubai Creek in Al Shindagha area. Being located at a very strategic point (above Dubai Creek), this building overlooked the Arabian Gulf. This awe-inspiring ancient structure stands between Bur Dubai and Deira. This structure was the birthplace of many members of the Maktoum family. This tourist icon received thousands of lakhs of visitors and tourists throughout the year.
With its simplicity and vastness, this place has captured the hearts of its visitors. This residence of the Monarch during the 20th century has varied wings and spaces throughout. There are a lot of open, closed and semi-open areas. There are varied air towers or Barajeel. The visitors can visit this place to know more the rich and luxurious lifestyle of the monarchs of the past. It is a good place to know and enjoy. At present, this house is used as a museum to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Dubai.
The structure is also a storehouse of the rare historic collection. There are photos of the Sheikhs and other paraphernalia. There are also evidences to show how the life of Dubai has changed over years. There are also some documents focusing on the Emirates of Dubai. There are rare, authentic and beautiful coins, jewelry and stamps of the era that passed by. All these displays have been variegated into nine different wings. These wings are known by the following names:
- Historic Documents and Maps Section
- The History of Maktoum House Section
- Marine Life Wing
- Social Life in Dubai
- Al Maktoum Family Wing
- Coins and Stamps Wing
- Old Dubai Wing
- Views from Dubai Wing
If you are fascinated by the details of traditional society of Dubai, this is the right place to be. You can know about many facades and details of the golden days. A visit to this place will endorse a close relationship between the citizens of Dubai and the Maktoum family. This kind of relationship is exhibited in the strong harmony, peace, symmetry, and proximity between the houses. The ancient structure has been constructed in such a manner that the surrounding houses and areas are closely knit. One could have easily contacted rulers. There were low barriers of connection and hence rulers and people were reachable round the clock. This has been very well exhibited in the architectural designs of the area. The beautiful architectural designs and exemplary houses stem from the very local heritage of Dubai.
All the external orifices of the Maktoum house are very small. They are located in the upper parts. The entrance of the houses is usually refracted. When a person enters the house, the person has to cross walls. He is forced to turn around and go round the walls to enter the roof of the house. Thus the visitor has to go roundabout to enter the spacious house in a seemingly indirect way. Like many other houses in the Al Shindagha area, the Maktoum House is also directed towards the southwest. This is the very direction in which the qibla of Mecca is situated. This very fact showcases the religious values that the community followed in the older days. The guesthouse is located on the right-hand side of the person who enters the house. This in itself has a symbolic reference (optimism and being on the right side of things).
There are huge kitchens that reek of palatable food and steam. The food flows to the guests in an endless manner. The guests are seated at the southern side of the house. This was mainly done in bright golden days to make complete use of the sea breeze that reached the depth of the land from the neighboring Gulf. This acted as a purifier and rid the rooms of aromas and steam. A visit to the Maktoum house will make you appreciate the underlying values, local heritage, and architectural ideas. The seemingly luxurious setup masks the underlying outlook to life, austerity, and simplicity that were the very essence of the people of the golden days.
Saeed Al Maktoum House gives a fascinating glimpse of the region’s history and the entry is free along with Big Bus Ticket. Though the house has lost much its grandeur and splendor with time, it still embodies the main essence of the lives of the people of the golden age. If you are an architectural and archaeological buff, this house is a good choice for your visit.