Murad House and Siyadi Majlis, two gems of Bahrain’s famed Pearling Path, are set to be transformed into a boutique hotel and pearl museum respectively.
The island’s pearling history offers an insight into one of Bahrain’s rich traditions – pearl diving and harvesting. An industry that drove the Kingdom’s economy until the early 1930s. Showcasing this cultural heritage is the Bahrain Pearling Path, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2012. The Path extends for 3.5 kilometres from the Bu Mahir seashore to Siyadi complex in the heart of Muharraq. It comprises a series of structures, mainly 19th-century buildings owned by pearl merchants, a visitor complex and public squares among other things.
Now it’s been announced that two of the structures, Murad House and the Siyadi Majlis, will be restored as unique public spaces, the former as a boutique hotel and the latter as a pearl museum. Fostering the property as a symbol of hospitality is the Murad family, owners of Murad House – a testament to the generous hospitality that’s deeply ingrained in the local culture. Fashioned out of coral stone, Murad House is a classic courtyard house, with spacious ground floor rooms arranged around an open, central courtyard and a second storey featuring roof terraces which would once have allowed a clear sea view; the house used to be just 50 metres from the shore. A mosque separates it from Murad Majlis – an Arab-style space for gatherings – which is located on the opposite side of the public square.
Siyadi Majlis is part of the Siyadi complex, created by one of Bahrain’s leading pearl merchant families. The other structures comprising the complex are Siyadi House, a family residence and Siyadi Mosque, which has been donated to the community by the family members.
The project is in the early stages and interior designers are being sought by Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA). However, one thing is certain, the spaces, once completed, will be jewels in the crown of Bahrain’s tourism – a slice of history to share for generations to come. ✤