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Majlis Al Ghorfat is one of Dubai’s heritage buildings and rather unusually, it’s not located down on the Creek or on some rocky outcrop in the desert.

Tucked away in a side street off Jumeirah Beach Road, the Saffron Souk ladies must have driven past this little building hundreds of times over the years. We finally got around to stopping in and finding out what’s behind those boundary walls…and what we discovered is a little Dubai gem!

Now managed by Dubai Municipality, Majlis Al Ghorfat is open until quite late in to the evenings, so this shady oasis makes a lovely spot for a little Summertime retreat…


1. Built in 1955, Majlis Al Ghorfat was used as a Summer retreat of the late Shaikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. At the time, the surrounding area featured fisherman’s shacks and date palm groves…not a single villa in sight!


 

 
 
 

 

1-7.
The building is made from coral stone with teak woodwork. As with all Emirati architecture, the design is beautifully simple and functional. The lower level is a shady columned breezeway, known as a leewan. The upper level features a large meeting room and verandah


 

1-3. The interior has been kitted out in a traditional style, with Persian carpets, majlis cushions and of course the obligatory tea tray. If only walls could talk…


 

 

1-6. A traditional oasis style garden wraps around the majlis building. There’s an old well, reservoir and falaj system which are now dry and although they’ve seen better days, provide a lovely feature and make an excellent race track for small boys and their hotwheels. There are date palms, figs, a few citrus trees and plenty of shady little spots to while away and hour or two so next time you’re whizzing down Beach Road, stop in!