Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa is a historic house located within a World Heritage site that is part of the cultural sites of Al Ain. The house is a community centre for residents and visitors and has a permanent exhibition celebrating the nation’s social and architectural past from the 1950s and 1960s. Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa Houses Community spaces for various events and activities throughout the year, a café and arts teaching center .
The house was built in 1958 for Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan (1909–79), father-in-law of the nation’s Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and grandfather of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.
It was built during the United Arab Emirates’ Transition Period (the 1930s to 1960s), when rapid growth inspired national economic and social transformation. Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa, which merged traditional architecture and design with modern materials and building techniques, is a notable symbol of this period. Its lived-in experience also reflected the balance between tradition and modernity. Although closer to a contemporary home than a traditional fort, the late Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan kept traditions alive by opening his home to the community.
This communal approach made the house a landmark in Al Ain. However, the illustrious lineage of the late Sheikh also transformed it into a national landmark. Now, after being carefully restored, Bait Mohammed bin Khalifa has resumed its legacy as a vibrant community centre and a creative space for residents and tourists alike.