Seif Palace is a palace in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Located opposite the Grand Mosque, one of Seif Palace’s best-known features is the watch tower, covered in blue tiles and with a roof plated in pure gold. Local materials such as clay, rocks, limestone, wood and metals were used in its construction.
Al-Seif Palace is the ruling palace of Kuwait. It was built in 1904 during the era of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Kabeer and is the official headquarters of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, His Highness the Crown Prince, and His Highness the Prime Minister. The building is named “Al-Seif” due its close proximity to the Arabian Gulf, the word al-seif in Arabic means the sea coast.
Initially, it was built from some simple raw materials, such as mud and stones. The (Diwaniya) of the late Sheikh Mubarak Al-Kabeer was located at the center of the palace. The architectural design of Al-Seif followed traditional Islamic characteristics by using the Islamic patterns, as well as some touches from Kuwaiti tradition.
Between 1906-1907, Sheikh Mubarak Al-Kabeer asked Sheikh Khaz’al (who was living in the Mohammara region on the eastern coast of Shatt Al-Arab) to choose an architect to design and build a palace that would be suitable and convenient for the ruler of Kuwait and the chief of its tribes. Sheikh Khaz’al sent him an architect from Baghdad who was called Osta Mohammad Al-Kathmawi. Sheikh Mubarak also placed an order for the necessary building materials to construct the palace, with smoked yellow bricks. The shipment was delivered to Kuwait via sea.
Once Al-Seif Palace was built, It became an attraction for Kuwaiti people who soon after towards the coast to view this unique state-of-the-art building. In 1917, the late Sheikh Salem Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah linked the First Floor (the Eastern Building) to the Ground Floor by an armor with a door inscribed with the words of Alfadyl Ibn Ayad: “If it had lasted for another, it would not have reached you” .
The lighthouse, which was on the facade of the Western Building, was replaced in 1936 by one of the Indian-British government ships for a better green lighthouse. To enable able to see it from a distance of two miles off the seashore. The lighthouse lies 45 feet above sea level. As a result, Al- Seif Palace became the most important landmarks, leading the way to sailors in the darkness.
The building in Al- Seif Palace that houses the Amiri Diwan, the Crown Prince Diwan, and the Prime Minister Diwan, is comprised of three floors. It spans a total construction area of 28,000 square meters and consists of 125 offices. The total area of the Crown Prince Diwan is 250 square meters. The ceiling is decorated with golden, colorful patterns, and the floors covered with hand-woven carpets and adorned furniture. The walls are covered with oak wood.
Since its establishment, Seif Palace has passed through several stages of building and construction. The most recent construction process took place during the era of the late Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. This began in July 23, 1983 after a fire broke out at Al- Seif Palace due to an electric fault in one of the palace buildings. Later, the Iraqi invasion destroyed the remains of the palace, particularly the clock tower. As a result of the huge destruction in the palace, Amiri Diwan offices, and the offices of the Crown Prince. were relocated to Bayan Palace until the maintenance operations were completed at Al-Seif Palace.