Muscat: The Sultanate has signed an agreement for the restoration of House of Wonders (Beit Al Ajaib) in Zanzibar. The renovation of Beit Al Ajaib, which dates back to 1883, will be implemented in response to the Royal order of His Majesty at a cost of RO 5,931,770.
The restoration work includes strengthening the building’s 240 columns and terraces as well as introducing a new mechanical system.
The work is expected to be completed in 2021.
The agreement was signed by Salim bin Mohammed al Mahrouqi, Undersecretary for Heritage Affairs at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage in the presence of Mahmoud Kombo, Minister of Information, Tourism and Heritage of Zanzibar.
Kombo expressed his thanks and appreciation, on behalf of the president of Zanzibar, to His Majesty for the financial support presented by the Sultanate for preserving the heritage of Zanzibar.
The House of Wonders or Palace of Wonders is a landmark building in Stone Town, Zanzibar. It is the largest and tallest building of Stone Town and occupies a prominent place facing the Forodhani Gardens on the old town's seafront, in Mizingani Road.
The House of Wonders was once the most modern building in East Africa—it was the first building to have electricity and an elevator—and it mixes elements of European style and Zanzibari tradition by including cast-iron columns, elaborate door carvings, coral rag, open central courtyards, and mangrove ceilings that together form a truly unique architectural achievement.