Majlis Ghorfat um al Sheef

Traditional meeting house of the city rulers

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Now incongruously marooned amidst the endless suburban sprawl of Jumeirah, the Majlis Ghorfat um al Sheef was built in 1955 as a summer retreat and majlis (meeting room) by the city’s then-ruler, Sheikh Rashid, the canny and ambitious leader who did so much to set Dubai on the road to modernity.

The pretty little two-storey building is a good example of traditional local architecture, with the usual solid coral-and-gypsum walls, and stout doors and window shutters made from teak. The majlis (meeting room) itself is upstairs and has been preserved exactly how it would have been in Sheikh Rashid’s time, with rugs and cushions on the floor on which the sheikh and the city elite would have lounged while plotting Dubai’s first steps on the path to world domination.

At A Glance

17th Street, off Jumeirah Rd, Jumeirah
(04) 226 0286

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