Al Bait Sharjah: Combining authentic Emirati heritage with modernity
SHARJAH - Situated in the heart of the city’s bustling commerce, the five-star Al Bait Sharjah hotel offers guests a taste of Emirati heritage.
Developed by General Hotel Management (GHM) in partnership with the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), the $27 million Al Bait Sharjah is part of the region’s biggest restoration project, known as Heart of Sharjah, scheduled for completion in 2025. It aims to restore the central neighbourhood to resemble its 1950s appearance.
The Heart of Sharjah will feature commercial, cultural and residential facilities. Construction includes new and reconstructed buildings and renovated historical ones.
Al Bait is adjacent to Corniche Road running along Sharjah Creek and Al Hisn Street. Guests can imbibe in an authentic part of Sharjah’s history as well as experience the very best of the United Arab Emirates’ commercial and cultural hub infused with the spirit of cosmopolitanism.
Much of the emirate’s mercantile history, as well as its modern commerce, were born in and around the area. Guests at Al Bait Sharjah can experience the traditional souks, including Souk Al Shanasiyah, one of the most ancient markets in the Gulf region.
The thriving modern art scene is centred on the nearby Sharjah Art Museum and the many galleries of the Sharjah Art Foundation, home of the renowned Sharjah Biennial.
Al Bait, meaning “home” in Arabic, was carefully remodelled and constructed from the restored foundations of four vintage homes that once belonged to noted Emirati families. The names of its original owners are posted and rooms have been retained to highlight the environment and lifestyle of locals who originally resided in the houses. The four houses are part of the development with 53 luxury suites spread across six buildings.
One of the houses, which belonged to Ibrahim Mohamed Al Midfa, who was influential in what is now the UAE’s cultural life and issued its first newspaper, has the only round barjeel (wind tower) in the UAE. It is where the coffee shop will be.
“The opening of Al Bait will be another major achievement in our scheduled development phases of the Heart of Sharjah project,” Heart of Sharjah Manager Khaled Deemas said in a release. “Our partnership with GHM reflects on our mission and vision to strengthen Sharjah’s position as a leading cultural tourism destination, delivering a rich mix of traditional and modern luxury Emirati experiences to visitors and tourists.”
“GHM, with their bespoke hotel management portfolio of the best-known hospitality project names from around the world, will play a key role in supporting our overall objectives in developing Heart of Sharjah into a high-level landscape project catering to a significant number of tourists in the UAE and the Gulf region,” Deemas added.
Patrick Moukarzel, the resort’s general manager, said: “GHM has taken the lead in pioneering luxury hospitality in the Emirate, while connecting the modern traveller to Sharjah’s rich storied past. We eagerly look forward to welcoming guests to Al Bait for an experience comparable to no other.”
Agnieszka Kurzawa, marketing and communications manager of Al Bait Sharjah, said: “Our resort brings the look and feel of a real Emirati home to life. From the set up on the resort to the majlis to the room decor, cuisine and service, Al Bait focuses on the authenticity and unforgettable experience of its guests.”
“Al Bait not only stands as Sharjah’s first luxury resort, it is also a new benchmark for the hospitality scene. It caters to luxury travellers, both local and international, who are looking for tranquillity, serenity and high-end experience.”
“Guests can expect a blend of Levantine and Arabic experience, blended with the contemporary touch,” she said. “They can share Levantine gourmet favourites served family-style at the Arabic Restaurant and find international fare from morning to evening in the Restaurant. Both restaurants boast a choice of indoor and outdoor seating, giving diners the chance to appreciate the surroundings, while enjoying their meal.”
Kurzawa said the Cafe serves pastries for those with a sweet tooth, served in an intimate setting where spices, teas and coffees are not only part of the decor but an aromatic journey for the senses.
“The Ice Cream Shop is the perfect place to stop and appreciate the buzz around the nearby souks while letting the taste and texture of Turkish dondurma and house-made ice cream and sorbet engulf your palate,” Kurzawa said.