Al Bait: Built from stones of eminent Emirati homes

By Rajive Singh

SHARJAH 13 April 2019: Have you been to Al Bait, the first five-star boutique resort in the Sharjah’s heritage district, the opening of Al Bait Sharjah?

What’s so unique about it is that it is constructed from the restored foundations of old homes that once belonged to noted Emirati families of the region.

Harmoniously integrated into the historic fabric of the Emirate of Sharjah, the concept of Al Bait Sharjah recreates the quintessential charm of a 1950s historic village, with narrow streets, courtyards and secluded entrance ways. The interiors are marked with two distinct treatments, highlighting the historic renovated buildings which harmoniously co-exist with finer touches of elegance and luxury.

Displaying splashes of modernity, suites at this heritage resort feature traditional, hand-carved timber furniture featuring intricately detailed wooden chests and antique-style furnishings that harmoniously coexist with modern amenities. From warm or cold wet towels to help guests refresh upon arrival to pillow menu, Al Bait offers guestrooms with areesh ceilings, made of palm leaf stems that are soaked and tied side-by-side using palm-fibre rope, combining traditional Emirati and eco-friendly design aesthetics.

Sharjah’s History: Unlike most boutique resorts, Al Bait is home to ‘The Library’ and ‘The Museum’ – a part of the Bait Ibrahim Al Midfa that continues to function as it did decades ago. The Library houses a broad selection of local and international titles on the history of Sharjah and the region in English, Arabic and German. Guests can also browse through albums, read local bestsellers and play games popular among the Emiratis. An intricately detailed wooden rotating door leads guests to ‘The Museum’, and weaves a beautiful narrative of the area, giving a greater insight into the lives of Al Midfa and other notable families.

Paying fine attention to detail, right from misting the restaurant with a customised fragrance, to laying out special cutlery to match the occasion, golden sugar, to a special lavender beverage mixed with pearl powder, melting cotton candy dessert and individualised coffee art, Al Bait Sharjah offers world-class gastronomy.

Top experiences in Sharjah include:

Art Retreats
For museum and art lovers, Sharjah is home to excellent sightseeing opportunities. From March 7-June 10, 2019 the Sharjah Art Foundation is hosting the Sharjah Biennial 14, fostering international artistic exchange and dialogue through exhibitions and experimentation, bringing a broad range of contemporary art cultural programmes and cultural producers to the communities of Sharjah.

To meet the expectations of the most demanding travellers, guests at Al Bait can indulge in novel experiences and explore Arabic calligraphy that embellishes the finest architecture, art and design across the Arab world. With private, hands-on instruction from favourite local artists and pen masters, guests can learn the magic and meaning behind these elegant swirls and symbols. Curated workshops on papermaking, pottery and glassblowing are an engaging, fun way to connect first-hand with the traditional arts of Sharjah. Then travel back in time by visiting some of the best museums and art galleries in the capital of the Islamic Cultural Capital of the Arab World, guided by local cultural experts.

Heritage Tours
Al Bait Sharjah brings to light Sharjah’s legacy and thoughtful vision to revive and highlight the heritage of the region. With the luxury resort located in the Heart of Sharjah, encompassing four architecturally acclaimed heritage buildings, guests can take a guided walk through the narrow by-lanes and be inspired by the architecture, rich history and traditions of a lifestyle that thrived long ago. Conveniently located near Souq Al Shanasiyah, one of the oldest and most vibrant souqs in the region, guests at Al Bait can enjoy a unique cultural experience whilst enjoying the finest Emirati hospitality. With the city’s international airport located a mere 25 minutes away, Al Bait also offers easy access to the city’s prominent tourist spots, including Al Noor Island, Flag Island, Al Qasba to immerse guests in local heritage.

Explore the Outdoors
Those in the mood for outdoor exploration can head to the dessert to observe the night sky against the Fossil Rock Mountains or discover the stars and planets at the Mleiha Archaeological Centre. Wildlife enthusiasts can explore Al Hefaiyah Mountain Conservation Centre, a new 12 square kilometre wildlife conservation centre located in the Hajjar Mountains, located a mere 30 minutes from Al Bait. Nature enthusiasts can uncover the region’s geological and botanical secrets at the Sharjah Desert Park by exploring the various attractions that highlight the finely-tuned ecosystem of the desert. Guests can also observe the ever-shifting sands of time in Sharjah by boarding a traditional Abra at sunset, to admire the shimmering city lights of sky-piercing towers and the sparkling night sky above.

Shopping
Travel back in time to the Heart of Sharjah, where the bustling souqs will treat your senses to rich sounds, sights and scents of spices, perfumes and incense. Walk through the oldest market place in UAE, Souq Al Arsah, where the Bedouins would bring their camel trains laden with charcoal and dates to tradeoff rice, spices and silks from faraway lands. An atmospheric place, vendors at the souq now sell local goods including “dhallahs” (coffee pots), herbs and spices, old khanjars (daggers) and traditional jewelry in air-conditioned comfort.

Tee Off in Style
Swing into the spirit of the modern day Middle East where golfers can play at the championship greens of the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. Guests can train with a certified coach who specialises in the latest sports psychology strategies to improve your game.

Dubai Gazette