SHARJAH, 24th April, 2018 (WAM) — Bait Al Naboodah, which belonged to the largest pearl dealer in the emirate of Sharjah, has officially reopened after extensive renovation work that was carried out by a team of historians over several years.
Founded in 1845, the historic house was 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.
Bait Al Naboodah is characterised by its fine two-storey architectural design. The ground floor includes a bedroom, a spacious courtyard and a water well. The first floor includes a “summer house” and bedrooms.
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.
The entrance to Bait Al Naboodah draws visitors’ attention to the magnificent interior details, including wooden doors and windows and Roman-designed columns in the courtyard. The rooms have been carefully restored by historians from the Sharjah Institute for Heritage who worked to preserve the building’s frescoes, wooden beams and teak columns.
The house was equipped with an innovative cooling system designed for air flow along the internal walls to help mitigate the high temperatures. 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.
Visitors to Bait Al Naboodah can see clear signs of just how successful the pearl merchant and his family were. The house was one of the largest buildings in the area, with a unique design that included architectural and cultural features from all over the world. This acted as a clear indication of the status of Al Naboodah in society.
The renovation has transformed Bait Al Naboodah into an exhibition of the Naboodah family’s holdings. Exhibits include coins from India and the Arabian Gulf, as well as a range of devices and equipment used to measure the weight and size of pearls brought to Sharjah.
There is also a collection of beautifully preserved documents that show Al Naboodah’s dealings with various companies, businessmen and prominent members of the community, including the rulers of the era.