Shurooq hotels testify to Sharjah’s “very rich heritage”

Al Faya Lodge and Al Bait Hotel offer hospitality that connects travelers to Sharjah’s history, says Khawla Al Hashimi, Director of Project Development at Shurooq, in this video produced by Dezeen for the AHEAD Awards.

Shurooq, an investment and development company based in the Emirate of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, is behind the Al Faya Lodge desert hotel and spa and the Al Bait Hotel urban renewal project.

Both hotels were among the nominees for the AHEAD Middle East and Africa Awards, held in Dubai in November 2019.

Al Faya Lodge is a five bedroom hotel and spa based in the Sharjah Desert

Al Faya Lodge, a saltwater hotel and spa set amid the red sands of the Maliha Desert east of Sharjah, has been nominated in the Bed and Breakfast and Renovation, Restoration and Conversion categories of the awards program .

The hotel is a refurbishment of a gasoline pumping site, where a cluster of abandoned buildings has been transformed into a five-room boutique hotel with a saltwater spa and outdoor swimming pool by studio Anarchitect based in London and Dubai. It is located near the Jebel Buhais archaeological site, where Hopkins Architects recently completed a visitor center.

Al Faya Lodge is a hotel and spa in Sharjah by Shurooq
The hotel is a renovation of a group of abandoned buildings

According to Al Hashimi, the project aims to merge and enhance the surrounding landscape.

“We wanted to showcase the beauty of Maliha and give her another life,” says Al Hashimi in the video interview, which was shot by Dezeen on the day of the AHEAD MEA awards judgment in Dubai.

“There are areas where it literally blends into the landscape, so the pool section is literally tucked away in the sand dunes,” she continued. “We gave [the rooms] skylights so you can look up and enjoy a beautiful night of stargazing. “

Al Faya Lodge is a hotel and spa in Sharjah by Shurooq
Al Faya Lodge was designed to highlight its surrounding landscape

Al Hashimi considers Al Faya Lodge as an example of how buildings can be reused instead of demolished.

“In the United Arab Emirates, we are used to demolishing everything and building new elsewhere,” she said. “It’s a showcase of how we can bring depth and enrich a project just by what it was.”

Al Bait Hotel in Sharjah by Shurooq
Al Bait Hotel is a refurbishment of a cluster of houses in downtown Sharjah

Al Bait Sharjah, located in the city of Sharjah, was also nominated in the Renovation, Restoration and Conversion category.

The project involves the renovation of a cluster of historic houses located next to a functioning souk and aims to connect travelers to Sharjah’s past.

“Al Bait’s main objective is basically to show how people used to live,” Al Hashimi said. “Rather than making it a museum, we wanted people to actually be able to sleep in a room and really experience it.”

“It’s really about taking you on a different journey, and it’s the journey you would only experience at the Al Bait Hotel, in Sharjah.”

Al Bait Hotel in Sharjah by Shurooq
The design of the hotel aims to show visitors how the people of Sharjah used to live.

Al Hashimi said the design of both hotels was guided by a fundamental storytelling principle.

“For today’s age and today’s traveler, storytelling is everything,” she said. “These projects have really brought back some of the stories from Sharjah and some of the very rich heritage that we have.”

This video was produced by Dezeen for AHEAD. It was filmed at the Bulgari Yacht Club in Dubai. The photograph is courtesy of AHEAD and Shurooq.

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About Mohammed B. Hale

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