Shaikh Isa Bin Ali House in Muharraq was once home to Shaikh Isa bin Ali Al Khalifa, who was sovereign from 1869 to 1932, making him the longest ruler of Bahrain. The building was constructed around 1800, and a visit here will provide a glimpse into 19th-century royal life.
With its period architecture and fine wall carvings, this grand house is one of the best-preserved examples of traditional local architecture in the pre-oil era. Though unfurnished now, the ornate decoration within the house makes it a fascinating place to explore, with its multiple staircases, intricate archways, and pleasant courtyards. The building is divided into four sections, including one for the shaikh and separate areas for family, guests, and servants, each of which are well-labelled in English.
A visit to Shaikh Isa Bin Ali House can be combined with Bahrain’s other attractions exploring the country's history and culture, such as Kurar House, Muharraq souq, and the Shaikh Ebrahim Center.
If making your own way to this attraction, turn right at the roundabout from the Sheikh Hamad Causeway onto Shaikh Abdullah Avenue. There are signposts to point you in the right direction.
Did You Know? The main living area on the ground floor of Shaikh Isa Bin Ali House benefits from an inventive air conditioning system, which uses a windtower to channel cooling breezes into the room. Try standing beneath it to see just how effective this natural air-conditioner is.