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Saeed Al Maktoum House, Dubai Overview
Al Maktoum House is a historic building located in the Al Shindagha Area of the city. Former residence of Dubai’s then ruler Saeed Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, the house built in 1896 is now a museum. Visitors can enjoy and get to know about the city and royal family’s culture and lifestyle. It is now a famous tourist spot which impresses residents and visitors with its simple yet vast stature, open areas and courtyards, and cooling wind towers. You can find a lot of old pictures, documents, stamps and coins, jewellery and decorative items in this ancient museum.
Who was Saeed Al Maktoum?
Saeed Al Maktoum was an influential ruler of the city who reigned from 1912 – 1958. Before dying at the age of 80 in the year 1958, he had established the economy and trade activities of the city. Dubai’s economy was faltering and excessive dependence on pearl fishing was leading to its downfall. Al Maktoum improved and enhanced the economy with his agreements and decisions. Located on the banks of Dubai creek, the house was built with limestone and plaster to give it a dusky-pinkish hue which still persists. The house is an extraordinary example of architecture and construction and has an ancient-old feel to it. The walls of the structure were made quite thick to ensure that the rooms stayed cool throughout. Generations of the royal family used to stay together with over hundreds of persons, guards, slaves, goats, dogs and camels.
Current ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum¸ is the grandson of Saeed Al Maktoum and has played in the same house, now a museum, for years.
Exploring the traditional house!
It is one of the oldest buildings that lets you discover Dubai from the roots and the start. The museum lets you explore old fascinating photographs, ancient artefacts and dwell deep into the history of house and the ruling family. The different rooms let you explore the marine history, old Dubai, social life and the historic documents and maps.
It reflects on the religious values and the cultural uniqueness old Dubai and of the Maktoum rule. The museum, once a house, has huge courtyards with no plants, carpets and the rooms are unadorned with no furniture or carvings. The impressive built and development of the place looks amazing when the sun sets and its coral colour reflects. The cooling tower systems keep the place cool and is fully air-conditioned. The sand-coloured buildings give a glimpse of traditions, Arabic paintings, lithographs, articles and intricate displays. The teak doors, exhibitions and galleries open to residents and visitors of the museum demonstrates the domestic living and life.
The museum consists of around thirty huge rooms with open spaces, and terrace or majlis enable great views of the city or the tall buildings of developed Dubai.
The Al Maktoum house takes you on a philosophical and historical ride and brings you close to the traditions and heritage of this culturally rich city. The house also hosts several cultural exhibitions and traditional shows.
A room has been dedicated to antique stamps, coins and currency which were used for trade and exchange. You will be surprised to know that before Dubai’s now currency ‘dirham’ or AED, the Indian currency INR was used in the economy!
Photos of Saeed Al Maktoum House
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How to Reach Saeed Al Maktoum House
Situated in the Shindagha district, Al Maktoum house can be reached through metro or bus.
Situated near the Ghubaiba bus station and metro station, the museum can be reached by walking for 5 – 10 minutes. You can also get off at the Bur Dubai bus stop and then walk for a couple of minutes till you reach.
For people who are driving till the house, you can avail free parking!