The popular residential quarter of the former ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House, is presently addressed as an eminent tourist attraction. Owing to the rich decor and its historical significance, the place is visited by innumerable tourists every day. The house has been named after the most popular ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum who is also known as one of the greatest rulers of all times in the United Arab Emirates.
Established back in the year 1894, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House lies at the Dubai Creek region in Al Shindagha, Dubai. Once built up to shelter the descendents of the Al- Maktoum family, the House has recently been reformed into a museum. Now, besides being a historical building, the museum retains all the historical evidences and artefacts from the Al- Maktoum lineage, which are put on display for the visitors to get a glimpse of.
The Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House is famous for its distinctive design of the Barajeel or the "air- towers". Apart from the vast designs of its decorative wings, the museum gives an unbelievable opportunity to observe and acknowledge the ancient accessories, coins, garments, utensils, etc and get a step closer to the history of Dubai. The museum is also a storehouse of all the official documents that were once required by the former ruler Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum during his majestic reign. All the antiquities are distributed over nine distinct wings, which are –
- The History of Saeed Al Maktoum House
- Al Maktoum Family
- Social Life in Dubai
- Marine Life
- Coins and Stamps
- Old Dubai
- Views from Dubai
- Historic Documents
And the visitors are thoroughly guided to the adjacent Wing.
A visit to the Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House unfolds many facts about the pious relationship shared between the common people of Dubai and Sheikh Saeed. The ruler and his family had always strived towards maintaining a stable relationship of harmony with the citizens of Dubai, and the tradition is still prevalent here. The design of the house had surfaced some of the best architectural skills of that time.
The visitors entering from the main gate have to face a huge wall owing to which, they have to turn towards either side and cross the wall first, to reach the hall behind. Henceforth, the entry to the hall of Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House in the twisted way eventually showcases the basic elements that were once used by the people of that era. Presently, the elements have been distributed in a very organised way.
Another fascinating fact of the Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House, common to every other residential in the Al- Shingdagha area is that they are faced towards the south- western direction towards the qiblah in Mecca. Besides this, the guest house in every residence here is positioned on the right side of the person stepping inside the house through the main entrance. This was done according to the age old belief that the right side of a person is considered to be the optimistic side. Even the kitchen in every house is situated towards the southern end. However, this was based more on the scientific circumference and lesser on the religious belief. The south facing kitchen ensures thorough circulation of the steamy air coming out of the chimneys with the fresh cool breeze blowing from the Gulf region.
Hence, a visit to this place unveils numerous religious values and fascinating architectural skills which eventually explain the simplicity of the pre- oil era and the unscathed belief towards the religion.