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A Visit to Al-Tayebat City Text and photos by Syed Shabbir Siraj

Every city has its pockets of history and culture stashed away in the most unlikely places. Jeddah is no exception with its secret; Al-Tayebat International City for Sciences & Knowledge. 32 DESTINATION JEDDAH


Hidden in the heart of the busy Al-Faisaliah district, Al-Tayebat functions as a museum housed inside a 300 room palace of the late Sheikh Abdul Rauf Khalil; a merchant who wanted to share the rich history of the region by scattering museums around Jeddah. Al-Tayebat City museum gives visitors an insight into the traditional life of the country over a century and several exhibits feature items collected over a decade by Khalil himself. From the moment you enter your eyes are drawn to the simple, yet beautiful Hijazi architecture. The buildings inside the complex are newer than those in Al-Balad district, but the design remains true to its 300 year old architectural roots by using Red Sea coral blocks and limestone. Exploring the palace without a guide is possible, but it is advisable to divide your stay into two days DESTINATION JEDDAH 33


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because the entire complex is over 10,000 sq. meters in total. Inside the museum, you are bound to come face to face with a bewildering amount of information. With over 2,000 sq. meters of wall space covered in pictures, detailed explanations, and monuments; 18 wings encompassing the breadth of the human civilization; and around 60,000 items of historical significance from all over the Middle-East, there is anything but a lack of information. The museum is essentially several smaller museums rolled into one. It is pleasant to see an organized flow of displays and exhibits throughout the museum, enabling you to take in everything without having a sensory overload. Of the many wings, the most fascinating things turned out to be the one with rooms showcasing life as it was in the past century or more from every region of Saudi Arabia. From the humble abode of a fisherman from Jeddah to the vibrant room of a bride-to-be from Abha, the attention to detail is exquisite.

ENTRANCE FEE: Individual – SR300 Group of 5 – SR60 / person Group of 10 – SR10 / person OPERATING HOURS: Saturday – Thursday 8 am – 12 pm / 5 pm – 9 pm Fridays Closed PHONE: +966-2-6830049 / 6834094 ADDRESS: Rehana Al-Jazeerah Street, Al-Faisaliah 2, PO Box 14032 Jeddah 21424

)‫متحف عبد الرؤوف خليل (الطيبات‬

‫يقدماملتحفالواقعفيحيالفيصليةنظرةعناحلياةفي‬ ‫اململكةالعربيةالسعوديةعلىمدىالقرناملاضيومافيهامن‬ ‫جمعتاملعروضاتعلىمدىعقدمنالزمانأو‬.‫عاداتوتقاليد‬ .‫أكثر على يد عبد الرؤوف خليل‬

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Al - Tayebat City