SINGAPORE — GHM expanded its hospitality interests on the Arabian Peninsula March 11 when the luxury hotel group signed a contract to manage the Al Bait Sharjah hotel, scheduled to open in early 2015 in the U.A.E.
GHM currently manages The Chedi Muscat in Oman and is planning to open The Chedi Khorfakkan in 2015.
In Sharjah, the hotel project will unveil 54 hotel rooms across four categories of accommodation, as well as a spa and dining facilities that include a traditional Arabic tea and coffee house. Wall-mounted lanterns, arched porticos, rooftop terraces, and a warren of pedestrian arteries coursing through the compound will inform the hotel’s Arabic ambiance. Many of the rooms at the Al Bait will open onto intimate, interior courtyards.
Five of the buildings within the nascent hotel compound are decades-old heritage buildings, once owned by prominent residents and today retained with due respect for their original layout and function. Seasoned walls of coral support one of the aged homes. Another will continue to function as a library and museum.
The Souq Al Arsa, a traditional open-air marketplace, will wind through the core of the hotel property, forming a pedestrian thoroughfare that promises a lively, interactive guest experience.
“We’re blurring the lines between the destination and the accommodation in a manner that enhances a guest’s stay,” said GHM President Hans R. Jenni. “The Al Bait’s integration with its environs conveys the destination’s charm and character, ensuring a very immediate and enriching experience of life in the exquisite heart of Sharjah.”
Indeed, the 10,000 square-metre (2.5 acres) hotel development is a major pillar of an overarching heritage initiative, the Heart of Sharjah, launched by the emirate’s leadership. When completed in 2025, the project will have safeguarded a number of historic landmarks and preserved the essence of Sharjah as it was decades ago.
GHM signed its management deal with the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq). GHM and Shurooq previously signed a similar deal on The Chedi Khorfakkan.
“Shurooq’s message is not a commercial one, but a cultural one that will enhance the position and the value of the emirate,” said Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal, CEO of Shurooq.
The project’s architect is GAJ, a U.K.-based firm that’s developed a number of projects in the U.A.E.