Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) has captured the imaginations of both market leaders and emerging players in the region’s inbound and outbound travel industry, as it announced two new mega projects in the luxury hospitality sector at the 29th edition of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre until May 12.
Alongside these global announcements, three of Shurooq’s latest projects in luxury hospitality that are making eco-tourism in the region more appealing than ever, also made their ATM debut.
Raising Sharjah’s profile as a leading destination in the region for heritage-inspired travel, the first Shurooq project which made a global debut on the ATM 2022 stage is: The Serai Wing, Bait Khalid bin Ibrahim – a pearl merchant’s 19th century family home in the Heart of Sharjah district, which Shurooq is converting into a modern 12-key boutique wing of The Chedi Al Bait. Launched by Shurooq in 2017 and managed by GHM Hotels, The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah, is a 53-key hotel offering luxurious Emirati hospitality and bespoke experiences.
Scheduled for completion in Q4 of 2022, the property will provide unique insights into traditional Emirati life, taking guests on a journey through the home of a family living in Sharjah, as it was, over 100 years ago. Alongside world-class accommodation and hospitality, additional guest attractions include access to the facilities of the Chedi Al Bait Hotel and access to Heart of Sharjah’s souqs and heritage areas.
The second project Shurooq unveiled is the Najd Al Meqsar Village. Nestled in the mountainous terrains of the picturesque coastal city of Khorfakkan, the destination is being developed to bring travellers and residents a brand-new opportunity to experience the emirate’s diverse natural landscapes. With this ambitious project, 13 houses in the 100-year-old Najd Al Meqsar village, which were restored as part of a larger revitalisation project in the Wadi Shie archaeological site by the Sharjah Infrastructure Development Authority ‘Mubadara’, are being transformed into luxurious heritage-style hotel units by Shurooq.
Seven hotel units, the 300-year-old Meqsar Fortress which offers a vantage view of the historic settlement from a height of 220m, a barbecue and outdoor areas and a mosque, are complete. As part of the project, Shurooq will also be developing 9 villas with private pools, private farm villas, hiking trails, horseback riding routes, tracks for electrical club cars, and other attractions.
Shurooq’s leadership and innovation in eco-hospitality showcased via three key projects
Marking its fifteenth consecutive participation at the region’s leading travel and tourism event, Shurooq also showcased three of its most recent eco-tourism projects, namely, Lux* Al Jabal Resort – a luxurious getaway in Khorfakkan overlooking the Arabian Sea; the Lux* Al Bridi Resort in Al Dhaid adjacent to the Sharjah Safari park – the region’s largest wildlife reserve home to 120 species; and Nomad – a glamorous trailer resort experience that Shurooq has introduced to the UAE.
Offering the best in 5-star hospitality, Shurooq’s Lux* Al Jabal Resort is being developed on the sloped of the Soueifa mountain and offers 45 eco-friendly 1- and 2-bedroom units including simple and luxury options, a private royal suite complete with a swimming pool. The 187,000sqm project on the slopes of the Al Soueifa mountain will also feature a clifftop restaurant, gym, kids play zone, reception, and lobby, and is set to be complete in 2023.
Shurooq is developing the Lux* Al Bridi Resort, a 5-star hospitality offering in Al Dhaid, Sharjah. The boutique 35-key property will feature 21 one-bedroom, 8 two-bedroom, and 6 three-bedrooms units, in addition to a gym, spa and pool, a restaurant, and a kids club. The resort is scheduled for a 2023 opening and is situated adjacent to the Sharjah Safari project – the largest conservation park in the region and home to the biggest wildlife safari in the world outside Africa. Shurooq is partnering with Sharjah’s Environment and Protected Areas Authority (EPAA) to ensure that the wild species inhabiting the park receive the best treatment. The two entities will collaborate to curate unique guest interactions with the wild.
Once complete, these two destinations will be managed by leading global hotel operator, the LUX Collective, headquartered in Singapore.
The third project showcased by Shurooq at ATM 2022 is NOMAD by Mysk. A collection of 20 fully-equipped trailers designed to complement their natural surroundings will dot the sandy beaches of Al Hamriyah. The authority stated that Nomad will start welcoming guests later this year, who will be treated to an offbeat escape, an exciting array of water sports and other beach activities.
MYSK announced as the operator of NOMAD and Najd Al Meqsar
Mysk by Shaza, which has been successfully managing and operating Shurooq’s ‘Sharjah Collection’ brand, has been appointed to manage and operate NOMAD and the Najd Al Meqsar Village. The two properties join the Sharjah Collection’s portfolio of distinctive boutique hotels and ecoretreats that dot key locations throughout the emirate and have been designed by Shurooq to enable guests unique and diverse close-to-nature experiences.
Ahmed Al Qaseer: Shurooq creates authentic experiences that respect the environment and promote sustainability
Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Acting CEO of Shurooq, noted that the two new projects announced at ATM 2022 mark an exciting expansion of Shurooq’s portfolio of boutique hospitality offerings in Sharjah. “Our emirate benefits from a deep-rooted history and rich biodiversity, whose protection and preservation are at the heart of Sharjah’s sustainable development strategies led by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah. Through our existing and upcoming portfolio of projects in ecotravel and luxury hospitality, Shurooq seeks to show the many faces of Sharjah to residents as well as travellers from around the world by creating authentic experiences that respect the environment and promote sustainability”.
“Shurooq’s diversified portfolio of projects reflects our mission to enhance long-term investment prospects offered by Sharjah. For the stakeholders of the region’s travel and tourism industry – developers, travel councils and commissions, industry leaders, travel agents, and others, hotel operators, businesses and investors – ATM offers a key opportunity to network with us, share best practices, witness ways in which our projects are establishing the benchmark for innovation and sustainability in the travel and luxury hospitality, and finally, explore avenues for investments in Sharjah’s robust and diverse economy – particularly in sectors of leisure, hospitality and travel,” he added.
For his part, Engineer Eng. Salah bin Butti Al Muhairi, Chairman of Initiatives Implementation Authority – MUBADARA, said: “We are committed to working on everything that contributes to the sustainable development and infrastructural growth of the emirate. The collaboration with Shurooq to achieve shared goals has manifested itself in the Najd Al Meqsar project, and we are working to bring it to fruition in a way that will enhance Sharjah’s tourism appeal and strengthen its regional and global presence.”
Tommy Lai, CEO, GHM, said: “The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah, is consistently recognised for its excellence and innovation in creating memorable guest experiences, which we are excited to bring to The Serai Wing at Bait Khalid bin Ibrahim as well. Our offerings at the new property will be specially curated for family holidays and weekend escapades in GHM’s signature style. We look forward to welcoming visitors to The Serai Wing’s exclusive, transformative spaces which are designed to strengthen social and familial connections, as guests enjoy a luxurious stay and world-class service.”
For his part, Sanjiv Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Shaza Hotels, said: “Shaza Hotels was elated to launch the Mysk Retreats for the Sharjah Collection in 2019, long before the urban escapes segment was a thing. We are now honoured to work with Shurooq to enhance the offering by adding Nomad and Najd Al Meqsar to the growing collection of experiential living, far from the madding crowd set in beautiful locales.”