Explore Abu Dhabi's rich history at this renovated architectural gem
Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa is launching with a series of free shows, concerts and festivals…
Once the home of the late Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, father-in-law to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founding Father of the UAE — Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa has been renovated and transformed into a cultural community centre in Al Ain.
Its new role, as well as preserving an important artefact of heritage, is to provide a space for community arts, crafts and creativity.
The careful restoration of Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa was helmed by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT). Selected for the glow-up project because of its architectural significance to ‘the Transition Period’ of UAE history, originally having been constructed in 1958 during a time of rapid social and economic change following the discovery of oil in Abu Dhabi.
Something old, something new
It’s a very visual representation of a cultural nexus, of the traditional and an aspirational future. This blending of the old ways with the new is still an important aspect of life in the UAE story.
Speaking about the project HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Preservation of our shared heritage is essential to our mission as an organisation, ensuring that our traditions and legacies maintain their relevance and are passed on to future generations.”
Permanent exhibitions include ‘Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan — Life and Legacy’, ‘A Glimpse into the 1960s’, ‘The Transition Period in Al Ain’, ‘Conserving the House’, and ‘At the Heart of the Community’.
Audio exhibits include performers contemporary to the building’s construction. Artists such as the poet Osha Al Suwaidi, ‘Fatat Al Arab’ Ali bin Rogha and Umm Kulthum.
Tahnoun bin Mohammed bin Khalifa and Suroor bin Mohammed bin Khalifa, sons of the late Mohammed bin Khalifa, have inaugurated the historic Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa after its restoration as a cultural and community space in Al Ain City. pic.twitter.com/uHH4BsP12M
— Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (@dctabudhabi) April 6, 2021
Raising the curtain
An integral element of the centre’s identity, Al Ain Theatre will establish a permanent hub at Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, offering authentic artistic and cultural events such as festivals, courses and workshops.
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In its first months of operation Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa will offer a diverse programme of events including evening concerts, heritage festivals and lectures, all free of charge to the public.
Undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi, HE Saood Al Hosani said: “Al Ain is the guardian of our rich history, and the launch of Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa adds yet another jewel to its crown.”
“The city has evolved significantly over the past decades, and the House’s new role as a community centre has revived its purpose, allowing for its stories, and those of the surrounding city, to be heard and appreciated through active community engagement and a memorable visitor experience.”
We’ve been told to expect “a diverse programme of events including evening concerts, heritage festivals and lectures”, all without charge to the public.
Al Ain, baitmohammedbinkhalifa.ae