Heritage luxury at the Heart of Sharjah

With the opening of The Chedi Al Bait Sharjah, a Leading Hotels of the World property and the emirate’s first luxury resort, Sharjah now offers a delightful rejoinder to Dubai’s glass and glitz. Meaning ‘The Home’, The Chedi Al Bait, Sharjah brings the history of the United Arab Emirates to life. Spread over 10,000 square metres, this 53-room resort is part of an Emirati conservation project: its rooms, restaurants, spa and wellness facilities are incorporated into heritage buildings that are almost a century old.

Once the hub of Sharjah’s merchant trade, the original city centre has been reborn as a vibrant heritage and arts district. You can easily spend a whole day exploring the art spaces and museums housed in traditional barjeel (wind tower) buildings. Due for completion in 2025, restoration is well underway and the area has been listed as a potential Unesco World Heritage Site.

The Chedi Al Bait Sharjah sits along a waterfront canal in the heart of old Sharjah, a neighborhood of whitewashed, early 19th-century buildings hewed from coral bricks that have been faithfully restored. Steps from the hotel’s entrance, an ancient souk where Bedouins once gathered on camelbacks today houses textile shops and tailors, modern boutiques and perfumeries inside vaulted storefronts. Emirati men wearing flowing white dishdasha sip coffee and play cards in the social club next door, as the muezzin’s evocative prayer call pierces the desert air from an adjacent mosque.

The emirate is an emergent art-world destination, thanks to the Sharjah Art Foundation, based a short walk from The Chedi Al Bait Sharjah in the old district, which hosts the Biennial. In between expositions, the foundation organizes regular exhibitions, workshops and free film screenings. The nearby Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization contains more than 5,000 artifacts – the city has 19 museums in all – and the annual international book fair, the world’s third largest, earned Sharjah the title of this year’s “World Book Capital” from UNESCO.

Named Sharjah’s Leading Hotel at the World Travel Awards, The Chedi Al Bait Sharjah has crafted its reputation through combining local heritage with impeccable hospitality standards, with an award-winning interior design and an innovative culinary experience, The Chedi Al Bait Sharjah walks the line of traditional and contemporary marriage in confidence, while being on the top hotels’ lists for many local and international publications.

Launched in December 2018 as The Chedi Al Bait Sharjah, is managed by GHM (General Hotel Management Ltd). The property is located in the UAE’s most ambitious historical restoration project known as Heart of Sharjah. The Emirati luxury hotel comprises a collection of historic manor houses and delivers bespoke services where beauty, unparalleled hospitality and a sense of home become inseparable. This ambitious restoration and conversion project of these historic manor houses was undertaken with the vision of embodying the cultural renaissance that has swept the Emirate.

The architecture and design sensitively reflect Arabic culture and blend harmoniously with the heritage buildings in the district. The original foundations of old houses that once belonged to Sharjah’s most prestigious families. These take after their traditional design, with Arabic-style floor sofas, woven palm-frond ceilings, hand-carved wood furniture and decorative brass flourishes.

The Chedi Al Bait not only stands as Sharjah’s first luxury resort, it is also a new benchmark for the hospitality scene. An intimate offering with 53 well-appointed guestrooms, comprising eight different categories of rooms and suites, reflecting the destination’s charm with its Arabic influences.

Indoors and out, the Chedi Grand Patio Room offers a rich wealth of Arab residential details, from the heritage inspired ceiling to the eye-catching bed. Relax on the generous patio or in the room’s majlis area, meaning ‘place of sitting,’ designed with traditional cushions and rugs to elegantly unite these personal spaces with the surrounding Heart of Sharjah neighbourhood and the nearby Souq Al Arsah traditional bazaar, the oldest in the UAE. The rooms are homey, romantic, tasteful. After a night on a specially imported, USD 22,000 mattress, which provides two more hours of sleep than a normal bed, you feel so good!

A jewel of the Emirates, Sharjah is newest destination for a luxury escape beyond compare. This enchanting luxury hotel combines the best of modern comforts and amenities with echoes of the old world. During your stay, you’ll encounter first-class gastronomy with traditional and international cuisine, indulgent spas to rejuvenate and more, all in an atmosphere that will take your breath away. Experience the height of Arabian splendour on your trip to the Heart of Sharjah.

Centrally situated within this walkable heritage district, The Chedi Al Bait feels like its own walled village. A warren of narrow alleyways, lantern-lit at night, connect to secluded courtyards that house a hammam and spa, two restaurants and a cafe, as well as a library, museum and ice cream shop. For sure at least once you will get lost – happily – as you try to navigate the property. The central area of the resort is the historic square Majlis Al Midfa with the UAE’s only round wind tower. The square holds an important place in UAE history, since it was used for gatherings of the region’s intellectuals and merchants.

The majlis – Arabic for sitting area – is named after the man who started the country’s first ever newspaper in 1927. Ibrahim Bin Mohammed Al Midfa regularly convened a majlis here to discuss poetry, literature and politics. The rounded barjeel, or wind tower in English, is unlike other structures of its kind that are usually square. Wind towers are a symbol of ancient UAE culture, when these constructs were crucial for natural ventilation in hot summer months.

The new luxurious property also features a museum and a library, with stories and archives on Sharjah’s history, and the history Al Midfa family and Al Mahmoud family, whom shared a significant influence and presence in the emirate of Sharjah since the 1950s. The wind tower houses priceless antiques, including a carved pearl chest and an ornate silver dagger donated by the Al Midfa family to the government of Sharjah.

Whether it’s the conversion of an old home into a modern library and museum, or transforming Souq Al Arsah – a traditional open-air marketplace – into a pedestrian thoroughfare within the resort, the colourful heritage of Sharjah is beautifully preserved in the Emirate’s most luxurious address. The Chedi Al Bait not only stands as Sharjah’s first luxury resort, it is also a new benchmark for the hospitality scene.

Location: Heart of Sharjah Al Mareija, Sharjah. Contacts: 06 502 5555 or email chedialbaitsharjah@ghmhotels.com


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