Inside an Emirati Home
People now live in modern homes such as villas or apartments. However, in the past most people lived in simple homes like these.
The Al Arish was a house that was built with the heat of the summer in mind. It was built with a barajeel (a wind tower) which meant that air blew through the house to keep the occupants cool. The towers were square or rectangular in shape. They were built over the main rooms of the house in order to keep the occupants of the house cool during the hot weather. Cross walls were built so that the breeze could be caught from all directions.
Chests like these would have been used as part of a dowry for a bride.
Here is what the bedrooms looked like:
The Al Manama is they type of bed that was used when the weather was hot. People slept outside.
This was the kitchen:
The Al Arish was too cold to live in for the winter. The family moved out to their tent as it was warmer.
Having a reliable source of clean water was very important. The Bedu (Bedouin) were able to find and drill wells. They knew how to protect these wells from erosion and sandstorms. Water was brought up in a bucket. It was carried home in a pottery or skin container.
There were wells like this one in many villages so that people could get fresh water.
In bigger houses there was a greeting room called a majlis. It was close to the main entrance. Low-lying sofas were put along the walls of the room. This is where guests were entertained. In houses nowadays the majlis has lots of windows.
Everyone within the traditional family everyone had a role. Men went to work as pearl fishers, fishermen, carpenters, shopkeepers, etc. Women stayed at home and looked after the children, made baskets, sewed and cooked. Men and women got married young. They usually had big families.