Published on : Friday, March 8, 2019
The home of the late Shaikha Shaikha Bint Saeed Al Maktoum (1918-2017), gifted by her brother, late Shaikh Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai (1958-1990) and Vice President of the UAE (1971-1990), has been converted into “House of Perfumes Museum”.
During a media tour on Wednesday, Dawood Al Hajiri, the director general of Dubai Municipality said that the “House of Perfumes” and “Dubai Creek House” museums are among the first phase of the Shindagha Museums Project that aims to open about 25 museums as part of the plan for reviving and developing the historic Dubai area.
A first of its kind in the Middle East dedicated to highlighting the importance of UAE perfumes and its history in the Emirate of Dubai, the House of Perfumes would provide visitors with a chance to literally smell and experience the age-old history of perfumery here.
A 1.2m high piece of an oud with a weight of 28 kg from the collection of Shaikha Shaikha, which is currently valued at Dh200m, constitutes one of the main attractions in the museum.
A prominent perfumer herself, late Shaikha Shaikha would make perfume in her bedroom, bury it in her private courtyard for fermentation, and thereafter preserve it under her bed for months.
An almost 3,000-year-old incense burner, which was retrieved from the Saruq Al Hadid archaeological site, is a testimony that the history of Dubai’s perfume culture was established thousands of years ago. The museum features over 60 archaeological and historical artefacts related to perfumery, an Emirati perfume workshop, and showcases history of rare perfumes like wearing fragrances and Al Bida’ah, a powdered perfume, which is not used any more.
The second museum, ‘Dubai Creek House: The Origin of a City’, throws light on the history of Dubai Creek and the role of the community and the rulers.