Bin Matar House عمارة بن مطر

Memory of the Place ذاكرة المكان

Opening Date:
February 2009
Opening Hours:
Sat – Thur
8:00am – 1:00pm
4:00pm – 7:00pm

Salman bin Hussain bin Salman bin Matar proved to be a man of remarkable abilities and broad interests. He joined his father’s pearl business and during the late 19th and early 20th centuries became one of the major pearl merchants in the entire Gulf region. Virtually all foreigners, especially French and Indian, relied on his expert advice in matters relating to the purchase of pearls. With the advent of the wide-spread cultured-pearl market that resulted in the dwindling natural-pearl trade, he was part of the group that formed the Natural Pearl Protection Society in 1936. In addition to his renown as a pearl tycoon, he expanded his business interests to include the trade of woods and dates, and ownership
of many diving vessels, as well as houses, buildings, shops, rooms, coffee houses and springs. One of his assets were his palm groves.

In addition to his business acumen, Salman bin Matar was also a man of great generosity and character. His wisdom and knowledge gained him the respect of many who sought his advice in solving a number of issues related to inheritance, valuation of lands and properties, and in the resolution of disputes between individuals. He willingly offered his support, financially or in kind, to the needy, regardless of class, race or religion, and the doors of his home and majlis were always open. Like his father, he built mosques at home in Bahrain, and abroad, granting many properties for their support.

The Bin Matar House was built on reclaimed land in 1905 and at the time was surrounded by the sea on three sides. Supervised by the Bahraini master builder Mussa bin Hamad, the building was constructed in a traditionally Bahraini manner, using palm tree trunks, sea-stone and gypsum. The building was initially used as the permanent majlis of Salman Hussein Bin Matar, one of Bahrain’s the most prominent pearling merchants. Even as the building was eventually used as a clinic for the famous Dr. Banderkar and home of the Al Eslah Club, the top floor was retained as a residence by the Bin Matar family until 2002. Prior to its presentday restoration, the building lay empty and in disuse, ready to be demolished to make way for new construction.

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