Ruler of Sharjah inaugurates restored 19th century-built museum
The Ruler of Sharjah HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi has inaugurated the restored Bait Al Naboodah house and museum – which was built by the largest pearl dealer in the Emirate of Sharjah almost 200 years ago.
According to the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, the historic house was built in 845 and owned by Emirati Emir Obaid bin Isa bin Ali Al Shamsi, a pearl merchant in the Arabian Gulf who expanded his business network to include the Arabian Gulf, India and Europe. The extensive renovation work commisioned by the Sharjah Museums Authority was carried out by a team of historians over several years.
“Recognised as an architectural masterpiece for its time, Bait Al Naboodah was one of the largest houses in the Heart of Sharjah located near the Fort of Sharjah and close to the port and the major markets. Bait Al Naboodah was equipped with an innovative cooling system designed to flow air along the internal walls to help mitigate the high temperatures,” said the authority in a statement announcing its re-opening. “This helped the family stay near the sea to take care of their business interests throughout the year even when most people would migrate from the coast to interior areas and oases to escape the summer heat. The ground floor includes a bedroom, a spacious courtyard and a water well. The first floor includes the ‘summer house’ and bedrooms.”
“Bait Al Naboodah has been fully restored to its former glory and is now a wonderful example of the home of a very successful pearl merchant,” explained Manal Ataya, director general of Sharjah Museums Authority. “Experts from the Sharjah Institute for Heritage were careful to use a mix of traditional and modern techniques in the renovation work so that the restored building is an authentic representation of its past. Every detail has been painstakingly brought back to life as a mark of respect for not only its esteemed former owner, but also for this important part of the UAE’s heritage and culture.
“Bait Al Naboodah is a stunning architectural example that embodies the heritage of Sharjah. We invite Emiratis, residents and tourists to experience first-hand the rich lives and experiences of the generations of people who called this grand old property home”