Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif

One of Dubai’s historic landmarks. in spite of its small size, it is celebrated for its unique heritage features.

Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

Beautiful Architecture of Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif (2019) by Dubai CultureDubai Culture & Arts Authority

It was built in 1955, to be the summer residence of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum in the coastal area of Jumeirah in Dubai. During that time, the area was famous for its calmness and tranquility. It was abundant in palm trees and fresh air.

Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum used it as a headquarters to confer with his advisers and study many important decisions that contributed to the renaissance of Dubai in the
following years.

The Majlis, with its two-floor building, is marked by simplicity and is commensurate with the purpose of its establishment.

It was built using coral stones extracted from the Arabian Gulf, plaster materials, Sarooj and Kandal wood brought from East Africa, and palm fronds.

At the center of the Majlis premises is a garden containing palm trees, channels for irrigation and a well to provide fresh water.

The Majlis was named ‘Umm Al Sheif’ in honor of one of the famous pearl fisheries, known for its clean, full-round pearls; the area surrounding the Majlis took this name as well.

Beautiful Architecture of Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif (2019) by Dubai CultureDubai Culture & Arts Authority

Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif went through many stages, including its transformation in the sixties into a police station, becoming a historic site that welcomes visitors in the heart of Jumeirah after its restoration work got over in 1994. 

Beautiful Architecture of Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif (2019) by Dubai CultureDubai Culture & Arts Authority

The historical significance of the building, which currently stands in the middle of a modern residential area, was taken into account when plans to preserve and maintain the building and its surroundings were drawn.

Beautiful Architecture of Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif (2019) by Dubai CultureDubai Culture & Arts Authority

Till this day, Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif is considered to be the only traditional building in the area surrounded by a palm plantation, in addition to the buckthorn and almond trees.

Traditional interior decoration of the majlis (2019) by Dubai CultureDubai Culture & Arts Authority

Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif houses a unique collection of furniture, tools and utensils, showcasing the essence of a traditional Emirati Majlis from the fifties.

Traditional interior decoration of the majlis (2019) by Dubai CultureDubai Culture & Arts Authority

It also holds samples of copper buckets, coffee stoves, jars, earthenware, brassware, rugs and carpets, in addition to the relatively modern appliances of those times, such as clocks and radios, along with defence tools like rifles and daggers, which were carried by men in their belts.

Majlis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif (2019) by Dubai CultureDubai Culture & Arts Authority

Discover the historical significance and simplistic beauty surrounding one of Dubai’s most important heritage sites.

Explore more of the UAE's heritage: Al Fahidi Historic Neighborhood

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