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BAIT MOHAMMED BIN KHALIFA

Overview

Timeline

Did You Know

Location Details

Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa — a home for the community

A historic home in Al Ain, now restored and repurposed as a vibrant community centre.
Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa is a historic house within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Ain. The house includes a permanent exhibition celebrating the nation’s social and architectural transition to modernity during the 1950s and 1960s. It is also a community centre with a diverse programme of activities and events. The building has been repurposed and is home to the Al Ain Theatre Group, the RFLCT Creative Arts Centre and a Notes Cafe with its own bakery.
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History

The house was for the late Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan (1909–79), the father-in-law of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the United Arab Emirate, and the grandfather of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

It was built in 1958, during the Transition Period (1930s–60s), a time of social and cultural change following the early oil exploration and discovery in the emirate. Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa merges traditional architecture and design with modern materials and building techniques and is a notable symbol of this period. While the domestic character of Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa was different from the traditional forts used as residences, it retained the time-honoured tradition of a leader opening up his home to the community.

Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa was once an eminent landmark and a focal point for the community of Al Ain, as Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan was a highly esteemed figure. Now, after being carefully conserved, the space has resumed its legacy as a vibrant and creative community centre.

Timeline

1930-2021

1930s–60s

The United Arab Emirates’ Transition Period — a time of gradual social and cultural transformation as a result of the economic impact of oil exploration and discovery.

1930s–60s

1958

Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa is built for the late Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan. It blends traditional architectural styles with modern materials and building techniques.

1958

2007–17

The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi undertakes conservation measures to preserve the site and prepares a conservation management plan to inform the rehabilitation design of the house.

2007–17

2017-21

Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa undergoes extensive conservation works and reopens to the public as a community centre.

2017-21

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Did You Know?

At the time of the construction of Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, local architecture was evolving. As a result, the house is a blend of traditional and modern construction techniques, symbolic of that era.

Location Details

Address

Zayed bin Sultan St, Al Mu’tarid area, Al Ain

Opening Hours

9 AM – 8 PM

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