Bayt Bin Ḥimd, a case study of a merchant's house in old Jiddah (poster)


  • Hidaya M. Abbas


Jiddah, Hijāz, domestic architecture, Red Sea houses, merchants


Jiddah, the largest Ḥijāzī coastal city, is the last bastion of the region's historic architecture. Old Jiddah, al-Balad, illustrates a variety in the sizes and designs of its houses. It is an area of many cultures that was inhabited by people of different backgrounds for centuries and the hajj season played an important role in its diversity. The people of Jiddah worked in different fields, however, and many of them were merchants. This paper explores al-Balad's merchants' houses by focusing on Bayt Bin Ḥimd, a house in al-Maẓlum neighbourhood. Although it is one of the largest houses in the city, it rarely attracts researchers' attention. It is often overshadowed by other houses in strategic locations, such as Baẓishin's in al-Shām neighbourhood and Bayt Naṣīf in al-Yaman district. Bayt Bin Ḥimd is particularly interesting as it is composed of three properties linked together to fit an extended family. This paper illustrates the house in several perspectives: historically, socially, and architecturally. Unlike many houses in the old town, Bin Ḥimd was never let to others after the family left it in the 1970s and hence, it has remained unchanged. Understanding this house paves the way to understanding the wide variety of the city's architectural heritage, especially with reference to merchants' houses.


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How to Cite

Abbas, H. M. (2018). Bayt Bin Ḥimd, a case study of a merchant’s house in old Jiddah (poster). Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 48, 1–7. Retrieved from